Company in August 1996 Alexander Lukashenkoand offered to hold a referendum to amend the Constitution, including those that significantly expanded the president's right. In November of the same year, a group of deputies of the Supreme Council initiated the impeachment of Lukashenko. November 21 in Minsk, Russian troops landed in the composition of which were prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his deputy, Valery Serov, Chairman of the State Duma Gennady Seleznev and chairman of the Federation Council Yegor Stroyev. In the night from 21 to 22 November, they held talks with the leaders of Belarus, which resulted in the "Agreement on the socio-political situation and the constitutional reform in the Republic of Belarus."
On 22 November 1996 the Constitutional Court has been appointed as the proceedings "Violation of the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko Constitution of the Republic of Belarus". But it did not take place — the chairman of the Constitutional Court Valery Tikhinya morning showed the judges another document, the so-called "zero option." Lukashenko formally agreed to "deliberative" referendum, and the Supreme Council withdrew from the Constitutional Court case of violation of the Constitution of the head of state. However, at the initiative of the faction "Civil Action" The Supreme Council of the agreement is not ratified. Recalls the deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation, party night negotiations Sergei Kalyakin:
"We voted 6 times, and the name, and in secret, and lacked the 2-3 vote, the decision was made. But if the Supreme Council failed in this agreement, Lukashenko announced that he is free from duties, and he reintroduced the decree that to a mandatory referendum. And we have, unfortunately, a constitutional coup, Parliament received a rejection of the world. Unfortunately, the Supreme Council dropped a real opportunity to prevent the establishment of a dictatorship in Belarus. And this constitutional crisis continues to this day. "
In the opinion of the judges of the Constitutional Court of the then Professor Michael Pastukhova, this night was the climax, changed the vector of development of Belarusian history:
"It was a night of betrayal. Actually it was curtailing democratic Belarus. This was the night, which is then hung over the whole of our history for many years. This was a constitutional crisis, it was a change of government to bypass the constitution, it was, rather, the struggle for power ' .
In negotiations with the Belarusian side was represented by Alexander Lukashenko, the Prime Minister Michael Myasnikovich, the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation Semen Sharetsky, President of the Constitutional Court Valery Tikhinya and the judge Grigory Vasilevich, Chairman of the most representative fraction — the Communists — Sergei Kalyakin. Later they were joined by Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentin Gennady Karpenko. Many experts blame the Russian side, saying that the impeachment attempt failed due to the efforts of the Kremlin. Sergei Kalyakin on the role of Russian peacekeepers opined:
"Russia could not accept. Took all the Belarusian side. Supreme Council and the President had the authority. Russians experienced in 1993: the shooting of a parliament. All they began negotiations with the fact that we would like to find some kind of understanding by the method of negotiation, consensus , compromise. More on anything they did not insist. only thing they offered a "zero option."
November 23 Lukashenko declared binding referendum. After the referendum, he dissolved the Supreme Council of the pro-presidential deputies formed a bicameral Parliament National Assembly, which is not recognized by the international community.