Council of the Republic of Belarus
|Council of the Republic of Belarus
Since 24 May 2010
|Last election||31 October 2008|
|The House of Government, Minsk|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Council of the Republic is the upper house in Belarus' bicameral parliament, the National Assembly. The Council comprises 64 members and the representation is based geographically, most of the elected members come from civil society organizations, labour collectives and public associations in their jurisdiction. Each oblast (six) and the city of Minsk (national capital) are represented with eight members plus another eight members are appointed to the council on the presidential quota.
Any bill must be initially considered in the House of Representatives and then in the Council of the Republic. Bills adopted by the House of Representatives shall be sent to the Council of the Republic for consideration within five days, where they shall be considered within no more than twenty days.
Special powers that accorded only to the Council of the Republic are:
- Approve the nomination by the President of chairman of the Constitutional Court
- Approve the nomination by the President of chairman and judges of the Supreme Court
- Approve the nomination by the President of Chairman and judges of the Supreme Economic Court
- Approve the nomination by the President of chairman of the Central Commission of Belarus on Elections and National Referendums
- Approve the nomination by the President of the Prosecutor General
- Approve the nomination by the President of chairman and members of the Board of the National Bank
- Elect six judges of the Constitutional Court
- Elect six members of the Central Commission of Belarus on Elections and National Referendums.
- Annul decisions of local Soviets of Deputies (parliaments) that are at variance with the country’s legislation
- Decide on dissolution of a local Soviet of Deputies in case it regularly or seriously violates the country’s laws and in other cases envisaged by law
- Consider decrees of the President on declaring the state of emergency, martial law, complete or partial mobilization, and within a maximum of three days after the decrees have been submitted take an appropriate decision.
Decisions taken by the Council of the Republic in the form of Orders (Belarusian: постановлений). Orders shall be made on the condition that they voted for the majority of the whole Chamber, unless otherwise provided in the Belarusian Constitution.
The procedure of forming the Council of the Republic combines elements of election and appointment. Eight members of the Council of the Republic are appointed by the President of Belarus and the remaining members are elected by secret vote: eight members of the Council of the Republic are elected from each of the country's region and Minsk City at sessions of local Soviets of Deputies of the basic level. A citizen of Belarus aged 30 and more, who has lived on the territory of the respective region or Minsk City for at least five years may be a member of the Council of the Republic.
The Presidium of the Council of the Republic is a permanently operating body of the Council of the Republic. The Presidium of the Council of the Republic comprises the Speaker of the Council of the Republic (head of the Presidium), his/her deputy and the chairpersons of the Standing Committees.
Speakers of the Council of the Republic
- Pavel Shipuk January 13, 1997–December 19, 2000
- Alyaksandr Vaytovich December 19, 2000–July 28, 2003
- Henadz Navitski July 28, 2003–October 31, 2008
- Boris Batura October 31, 2008–May 20, 2010
- Anatoli Rubinov May 24, 2010–Present
Members of the Council of the Republic enjoy parliamentary immunity when making statements or exercising their mandate except for cases when their statements are slanderous or insulting. During the whole term of their office members of the Council of the Republic may be arrested or otherwise deprived of their personal liberty only upon a prior consent of their chamber, except for cases when they commit high treason or other grave crime, or if they are caught in flagrante delicto. A criminal case in relation to a member of the Council of the Republic may be initiated only by the Prosecutor General of Belarus and considered by the Supreme Court of Belarus.
- List of Speakers of the Council of the Republic of Belarus
- Parliament of Belarus
- House of Representatives of Belarus
- Politics of Belarus
- List of legislatures by country
- "Official website of the Council of the Republic of Belarus". Retrieved 2010-03-30.