Opposition to fulfil ritual functions in Parliament


Ales Mіhalevіch hopes to get an official car “to visit people” in it. Anatol Laybedzka will tell people about all the unapproved suggestions and laws worked out by them. Stanislau Shushkevich says that our Parliament’s functions are ritual. A political scientist Raman Yakauleuski thinks his powers will not increase even if opposition members appear in the House of Representatives. It has not been decided whether the opposition will boycott the parliamentary elections or take part in them yet. It may become known 5 days before the Election Day (September 28). Nevertheless, all democratic activists do not hide the fact that they doubt the election will be normal. They hope for a miracle to happen and continue collecting signatures in their support. ERB asked deputy contenders what a few opposition deputies could do to withstand the pressure of the authorities’ majority if they got to the House of Representatives.

A former deputy head of BNF Ales Mihalevch confessed that a minority was not able to pass more or less liberal or democratic laws in the Parliament.

Ales Mіhalevіch: “Of course, there will be no law to approve some other laws. A minority is a minority and the majority will always be able to dominate. However, there will be other methods available: it will become possible to address the people and to exercise pressure on behalf of the people in order to demand democratization”.

However, according to the politician, even “this trifle” will only be possible if the elections are elections instead of an appointment of deputies. It concerns both authorities’ and opposition candidates. However, Mihalevich confessed to ERB that he would not throw away his mandate in an emphatic manner.

Ales Mіhalevіch: “It would be really strange if a person getting an additional opportunity for information work and for working with people refused it. I would certainly use the opportunity to have an official car to ride across Belarus and meet people if I was offered it. The House of Representatives is the same thing – it would be strange to see people refusing additional opportunities allowed by this status”.

Accoridngt o the leader of the UCP Anatol Lyabedzka, opposition members would not be able to do anything important in the parliament even if a limited number of them got there. The only thing they could do is work out their suggestions and inform people about the fact that there could be projects different from those suggested by the authorities.

Anatol Lyabedzka: “If there were people like Yaraslau Ramanchuk and Stanislau Bahdankevich who have a great experience in the field of economy, like Layvon Brashcheuski who knows a lot about the sphere of education and like Anatol Paulau who used to be a pro-rector – if there were such people – it would change the direction of the work of the House of Representatives. In any case, there would always be some intrigue and they would start working to return the things we lack now. And we have neither parliamentarism nor parliament.

The thing is the people mentioned by the leader of the UCP have not registered to become deputy contenders. So we should not hope for parliamentarism to return. However, opposition representatives will be able to tell people about it if they are elected.

The leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada Stanislau Shushkevich thinks that opposition members will not be able to change anything in the Parliament no matter how many of them will become deputies in the House of Representatives.

Stanіslau Shushkevіch: “Read our Constitution and see how our life is being regulated – the President signs decrees and our life goes on according to the decrees. The so-called Parliament has no power. Its functions are ritual like the functions of the German President. Nothing will change and it cannot change! They will only stir the water in the glass called “the House” and that will be it”.

A political scientist Raman Yakauleuski agrees with the politician.

Raman Yakauleuskі: “The influence of the so-called Parliament is absolutely null. As far as we know, President’s decrees are more important than laws in Belarus. Any decree is more important than any law adopted by the Parliament. If any representative of the United Democratic Forces appears in the Parliament (and I really doubt it), they will have no influence on it”.

According to the political scientist, the only thing they will would be able to do is make some amendments to laws. Such amendments would not be likely to change anything in the letter of the law”.