Mikhail Pastukhou: 1995 referendum is legally invalid
9:18, — Politics
Lukashenka held a referendum on May 14, 1995, which became the first one in the history of independent Belarus.
As a result, the Belarusian language lost its status of the only state language and the national state symbols were replaced by slightly upgraded Soviet symbols. Many lawyers and politicians are still confident the results of the referendum are legally invalid, Radio Svaboda reports.
Prof. Doctor of Law Mikhail Pastukhou, a former judge of the Constitutional Court, says he thought a lot about the legitimacy of the referendum and came to a conclusion that it was illegal.
“Nil Hilevich appealed to the Constitutional Court. He asked to evaluate the legitimacy of offering questions on replacing the state symbols and giving the status of a state language to Russian for the referendum. The court evaded considering the issue.
Time has passed. I got convinced that the court should have considered the complaint of the people's writer and member of the parliament and expressed its principled position,” he said.
Mikhail Pastukhou says the questions were offered for the referendum in violation of the Constitution of Belarus, the Declaration on Sovereignty, laws on the popular vote (referendum), on electing of members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus and other legislative acts.
“For example, let's take the language issue. Belarusian was the only state language, which was said in article 17 of the Constitution. It was confirmed by the Law on Languages adopted in 1990. It was a long-term programme on gradual spreading the Belarusian language in all spheres of life.
Besides, the law on the popular vote (referendum) said the questions relating to the national history, traditions, culture and language cannot be put on a referendum. So, these issues cannot become a subject of doubts and discussions. Nevertheless, they were proposed for voting,” the lawyer said.
He stressed such questions shouldn't have been offered for the referendum.
“The referendum contradicted both the Constitution and then legislation. So, the outcome of the referendum cannot be legitimate and have legal force since the moment when these questions were offered for voting,” Mikahil Pastukhou said.
Photo: Radio Svaboda
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