Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 144

Parliament chairman Mechislau Hryb has announced that he would not seek that post again in the new legislature, even if deputies ask him to do so. Hryb cited "the impossibility of working under conditions of suspicion and violations of the constitution by Lukashenko" as the reasons for his decision. Hryb has been parliament chairman since early 1994 when, as a nominee of the "red" majority, he succeeded the reform-minded and pro-independence Stanislau Shushkevich as parliament chairman and head of state, before the creation of the presidency. (15)

As chairman of parliament, Hryb became a supporter of Belarus sovereign statehood against proposals by Russian nationalists to unify the two countries. In opposition to Lukashenko he promoted the separation of powers, strongly and at times bravely defending legislative prerogatives against executive abuse. Hryb initiated several successful constitutional challenges to Lukashenko’s decrees, resulting in five verdicts by the Constitutional Court against the president in the space of three months. Lukashenko defied the rulings and threatened to dismiss the justices. Hryb appears discouraged by the passivity of many deputies, not to mention the general public, which allows the president to act with seeming impunity.

Russian Duma Chairman Supports Moldova’s Breakup.