Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 132

President Aleksandr Lukashenko has told Belarusian journalists that he will observe "none" of the Constitutional Court’s verdicts which ruled some of his acts unconstitutional. Lukashenko stressed that despite those verdicts, "all presidential decisions and decrees have been, and will be, binding" and that he has instructed the executive bodies accordingly. Describing the Constitutional Court’s work as "sheer political intriguing," Lukashenko warned that he might "dismiss the Court’s chairman" Valery Tikhnya. Lukashenko also vowed to defy the recent electoral law passed by parliament and permit the holding of repeat parliamentary elections only under the old electoral law. (6)

Five Constitutional Court verdicts in the last three months found that Lukashenko’s decrees changing the state budget, suspending the parliamentary immunity of several deputies, banning some trade union activities, abolishing benefits of some categories of employees, and other unilateral presidential measures, had violated the Constitution. The Court also upheld the constitutionality of the new electoral law after Lukashenko vowed to defy that as well. The legislature’s presidium and its chairman Mechislau Hrib had asked for a Court review in most of these cases. The presidium and the Court are the last redoubts of active resistance to Lukashenko’s ambitions to institute one-man rule. The constitutional conflict has international strategic implications because Hrib opposes the idea of reuniting Belarus with Russia.

Chernobyl Beyond the Year 2000?