Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна»беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт

Constitutional Court ignores proposals by Homel pro-dem activist

  • Ihar Sluchak
    Ihar Sluchak

Ihar Sluchak, former candidate for Parliament in Homel-based constituency No. 34, received a reply to his appeal issued by the Constitutional Court. In his appeal, the pro-democratic activist urged the Constitutional Court to order the review of his earlier complaint at the Supreme Court of Belarus.

The complaint dealt with alleged electoral fraud in Homel. The former candidate argued that the voter turnout was fabricated and the actual figure was about 35% and not “over 60%,” as reported by the election officials. After the complaint was rejected by the Central Election Commission, Ihar Sluchak lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court. However, the appeal was dismissed again.

Ihar Sluchak also urged the Constitutional Court to initiate amending the Electoral Code in order to enable candidates to challenge election results in court.

The Constitutional Court responded that the authority only gives its opinion on the compliance of regulatory and legal acts on the basis of proposals from the President, the House of Representatives and the Council of Ministers. "The Constitutional Court has no right to interfere in the activities of government agencies, courts, give guidance, and assess legality. Amendments to the Electoral Code are the possible by request of the President, the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, as well as by a petition of at least 50 thousand citizens," says the official reply.

"The response has nothing but references to the general legal provisions relating to my question, but it completely ignored the special rules that allow the court to decide the issue on its merits and take the initiative. The general idea of ​​the answer was that the Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction; in fact, it was not able to make use of even a tiniest possibility," said Ihar Sluchak.

He further says that even in richer countries the functions of the Constitutional Court are performed by the Supreme Court, therefore, he believes that it is time to carry out a reform, as the operation of the Constitutional Court requires huge funds, while it fails to implement judicial functions. "The 12 judges could easily manifest themselves in practice in the Supreme Court, and the funds could be spent on more necessary things, especially in these times of crisis, that Belarus is going through now," said the activist.


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