Referendum-95 about symbolism and language was not a legitimate

May 14, 1995 a referendum was held on the four topics proposed by Alexander Lukashenko. As the appointment process and the very holding of a referendum took place with violations of the then Constitution and laws.

First posted on the website of Radio Liberty in May 2009. Updated.

The dubious legitimacy issues

In March 1995, the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko invited the High Council to appoint a referendum on the following issues:

"Do you agree with giving Russian language equal status with Belarusian?"

"Do you support the proposal to establish a new national flag and the State of the Republic of Belarus eerba?"

"Do you support the actions of the President of the Republic of Belarus, aimed at economic integration with the Russian Federation?"

"Do you agree with the need to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, which provide for the early termination of the powers of the Supreme Council of the President of the Republic of Belarus in cases of systematic or gross violations of the Constitution?"

As later admitted to the then head of the presidential administration Leonid Sinitsyn, a project that today is officially considered the national emblem, was stoned in his office in early 1994, after the reception at the Metropolitan Filaret, the reception is not only drank mineral water.

However, the topic of the referendum implemented the long-standing political positions Lukashenko.

Back in early September 1991 the Supreme Council Lukashenko criticized the proclamation of independence of Belarus, which took place a week earlier, on August 25. Lukashenko summer of 1993 called for the restoration of the Soviet Union. During the presidential election campaign in 1994, he was not of "public" white-red-white, and the "BSSRovskie" red-green deputy's badge in his election program declared giving the Russian language official status.

The referendum could not bring issues of national historic features

According to Article 78 of the then Constitution, a referendum was to be held in accordance with the law. Legal aspects of the referendum were regulated by the Law "On the popular vote (referendum)." According to him, the referendum could not bring issues of national and historical features (if it is explained in simple words — the language, history and national values do not belong to the current generation, and it has no right to deprive them of future generations, and generally solve for the ancestors, and for descendants). That such questions were the two issues of the four proposed by A. Ltsukashenkam, on the status of the Belarusian language and national symbols. It is worth recalling that just for this reason a few months before the referendum, the Central Commission for Elections and referendums rejected a group of citizens in a referendum on the language issue, and five parliamentary committees gave negative findings, since the proposal did not comply with the law).

Draft Resolution of the Armed Forces to suspend the referendum initiated by Lukashenko proposed by opposition MPs BNF. March 1995. From the archives of S. Navumchyk

As noted later, Doctor of Law, Professor, former member of the Constitutional Court, Mikhail Shepherds with "the provisions of the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Belarus that questions directed at reducing the state guarantees the existence of the Belarusian language, including through the humiliation of its role in comparison with other languages , may not be put to a national referendum. A similar conclusion should be made about the issue of changing the national flag and the national emblem, as issues that impinge on the inalienable right of the Belarusian people to national statehood. "

Finally, Article 17 of the Constitution defined the Belarusian language as the state and Russian — the language of national communication. Change their status meant a change of the Constitution. According to the article 148-2 of the Constitution, amendment of the Constitution could not be carried out in the last six months of the current Supreme Soviet (and the election of a new aircraft were assigned to the same day as the referendum, and if the sun -13 was elected to full strength, powers BC-12 would end no later than three months after the vote).

Thus, to put questions about the language and symbols violated Articles 17, 78 and 148-2 The Constitution and the Law "On the popular vote (referendum)."

Violations during the referendum have

Under the law, a referendum was to appoint Supreme Council (at the time — the sun12th convocation). Sun acted in accordance with the Constitution and a number of laws, including — the Law "On the Status of the deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus" and "Provisional Regulations of the Supreme Council".

In protest against the referendum, 19 deputies of the Supreme Council (members of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front) in the morning on April 11 announced a hunger strike in the Oval Room.

Hunger strike of the opposition deputies BNF. Oleg Trusov, Sergey Navumchyk, Boris Gunther, Sergey Antonchick, Lavon Borshevsky Alexander Jester, Mr Zablocki. During the presidential tribune, Alexander Lukashenko, the presidium chairman of the Armed Forces and Deputy Mieczyslaw Mushroom Sun Bambiza on the podium Chairman Vladimir Lavchyk sun. Oval Hall of the Government House, April 11, 1995 g.Fota Sergei Grits.

Action deputies BNF was an instant and very important result after three questions of the four proposed by the president, the Supreme Council has not approved (not accumulated adequate number of votes).

In the night from 11 to 12 April (after 2nd am), the building of the Supreme Soviet were introduced military, police and special departments (over 600 people), MPs were beaten by a group of masked men, thrown into police cars and dumped in the center of Minsk (some were beaten again).

"The country is governed presidential junta" — said Vasily Bykov

Been beaten in an hour was registered members of so-called "Lechkomissii" (on the street. Krasnoarmejsky) and confirmed by an investigator for particularly important cases of the Prosecutor General J. Brolishsam (the investigation, however, failed to identify the men who beat the deputies directly. According to the recent recognition of the then deputy chairman of the KGB Valery Kez, it was a group of officers KGB "Alpha").

"The country is governed presidential junta" — said on Freedom after beating deputies BNF Vasil Bykov.

Only after beating the deputies of the Supreme Council approved the four questions proposed by Alexander Lukashenko at a referendum.

According to Professor M. Pastukhova, "only one fact skarystannya physical force against the deputies' men in camouflage uniforms" (and even the parliament building!) Casts doubt on the legitimacy of the Supreme Council of the appointment of the referendum, as the decision was made under duress. The very same introduction of armed men in the attack on Parliament and MPs could be described as a seizure of power by force. "

Thus, procedure of the referendum took place in violation of, at least, the law "On the status of member of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus" (according to which the member is a person untouchable) and the "Provisional Rules of the Supreme Council", as well as the Criminal Code.

Violations during the campaign

The law "On the popular vote (referendum)" provided for citizens to information on matters put to vote, and equal opportunities campaign "for" and "against."

Opponents of the referendum did not give the word.

In the weeks preceding the vote, according to state television and radio channels was a solid campaign in support of the position of Alexander Lukashenko. At a length of only television broadcasts with propaganda for the referendum question, according to the monitoring amounted to tens of hours. Opponents have not given word. On14May have been appointed as the elections to the Supreme Soviet 13th convocation, and in accordance with the law, candidates have the right to speak to the media. However, in the speech of candidates from the ether vyrazalasya all the words in which they were against Alexander Lukashenko proposed referendum question.

Finally, before the vote, a group of MPs Sun (S. Pozniak, L. Borshevsky S. Navumchyk) sent a formal request to the Chairman of the State Television and Radio P. Kissel with a request to provide 45 minutes of air time 13 May to express its position on the referendum and the denial of information that has been previously heard in the movie "Children of lies." Ether was not provided, although it is guaranteed by the deputy Law "On the Status of a Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus."

Thus, campaigning for a referendum was held in violation of law "On the popular vote (referendum)," "On the Election of Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus" and "On the status of a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus."

Violations during the voting

At the time of the vote, observers (and officially registered) have recorded numerous violations.

Violations recorded each portion, where there were observers from the Popular Front (Popular Front and put forward their own candidates in over 100 constituencies).

On the second and fourth issue of the referendum (state symbols and the right of the president to dissolve parliament) Voted "for" less than half of the total number of voters

Since May 21, the Sejm BNF noted that "the vote on the referendum, especially in rural areas, was rigged by the executive authorities and their representatives in the electoral kamisiyah.Pra evidenced by the numerous facts that are registered as observers of the BPF, and others. We have evidence that in many rural districts did not come to vote and half of the citizens on the voting lists. Number of Voters, was overstated. Nevertheless, on the second and fourth questions of the referendum (state symbols and the right of the president to dissolve parliament. — SN) voted "for" less than half of the voters. "

Note that this was a formal statement of the registered party, referred to the CEC ruling and not refuted by the CEC.

During the elections in Belarus, a delegation of international observers from the OSCE. Naziranniki more focused on the election than a referendum, but since the vote and the election and the referendum held at the same time, their findings can be attributed to the "plebiscite". According to the newspaper "Freedom», (№ 20, 19.05.1995), the day of voting, OSCE observers visited more than 70 sites — in Minsk and in the regions. International observers have noted that "the executive power inappropriately interfered in some aspects of the electoral process," the party and the candidates did not have the right of access to the media, the opposition parties and their candidates spreading "slanderous information." "The delegation also noticed — noted in the press release — other violations, Ali voters taken. Circular and throwing in a few boxes of ballots as parliamentary and by referendum. " "The elections did not meet all the international standards of free and equal elections," — concluded the OSCE observer mission.

Thus, voting was conducted in violation of the law "On the popular vote (referendum)".

The approval

It is noticeable that the Supreme Council 12th Convocation despite the fact that after the referendum served as the supreme legislative body of the country for nearly eight months (due to the fact that the sun13th Convocation was not timely elected, the powers of the BC-12 ended 9th January 1996) — not approved the results of the May referendum.

The deputies of the BPF in the Armed Forces of the 12th convocation led by Zeno Pazniak immediately declared the illegitimacy of the referendum and the non-recognition of the results.

We stated that a white-red-white flag and coat of arms "Pursuit" are state symbols

We stated that a white-red-white flag and coat of arms "Pursuit" are the state symbols of the status of the Belarusian language as the only state not to be altered, opposed the policy of "integration" with Russia. We also said that Lukashenko has no right to dissolve the parliament and in general is not a legitimate president. There were rallies, pressing conference, articles in the press, referring to Western politicians and international organizations.

However, this position was shared not all who call themselves democrats. "The democratic forces have to beat all the bells about the illegitimacy of the first referendum. And that was enough reason and fact. But the chairman of the Supreme Council M. Mushroom and the Chairman of the Constitutional Court B. Tikhinya silent. Thus the way to the dictatorship of violence has been opened, "- says the head of the human rights center" Legal Assistance to the Population "Oleg Volchek ("The People's Newspaper", May 14, 2010)

"We can say — writes further Volcheck — that the officials who were involved in the illegal conduct of the referendum, committed criminal acts that qualify as a seizure and retention of state power by unconstitutional means, as well as an attempt on the life of public figures with the aim of destabilizing the social order and to influence decision-making by public bodies (terrorism). All the participants of the events from the ordinary and to the officers who used violence against members of Parliament should also be involved in these items as direct partners and artists seize power. The same criminal responsibility of the CEC members, who approved the results of the referendum illegal.

In fact, April 12, 1995 the President Lukashenka had to be removed from power

In fact, April 12, 1995 the President Lukashenka had to be removed from office due to a gross violation of the Constitution, as his decision to call a referendum on changing the national symbols and the introduction of Russian as a State exceeded his powers given to it by the Constitution. "

Thus,time of the appointment and conduct of the referendum in 1995 had been violated, at least, Article 17, 78 and 148 part 2 of the Constitution, the Laws "On the popular vote (referendum)," "On the Election of Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus", "Status member of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus "and" Provisional Rules of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus. " A separate theme — articles of the Criminal Code, which fall under the actions of officials, law enforcement agencies and special services in connection with the Event April 12, 1995

I am convinced that the future of the democratically elected president of Belarus (or parliament, if it is decided to return to a parliamentary republic), the issue of restoration of the status of the state symbols of the white-red-white flag and coat of arms "Pursuit", as well as the status of the Belarusian language — is the issue of restoring law .

It will take only so many seconds or minutes it takes to sign a decree or to vote the relevant parliamentary resolution.

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