‘Time has chosen us!’ Belarusian People's Congress gets together in Minsk


MINSK, 24 April (BelTA) —  The 7th Belarusian People's Congress under the motto “Time has chosen us!” will be held in Minsk on 24-25 April,  BelTA has learned.
In the course of the preparations for the congress, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko repeatedly stressed the special importance and status of the upcoming event. Although it is the 7th Belarusian People's Congress, it will be its first one in the new constitutional status. “Indeed, this is the seventh edition, but it is special one. It is the constitutional status. Therefore, it is very important to deliver the high-quality event, both in appearance and in content,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “It should be both solemn and, most importantly, meaningful.”
According to the legislation, the maximum number of delegates to the Belarusian People's Congress is 1,200. More than 700 guests have been invited to the event. Delegates from different regions of the country (representatives of legislative, executive and judicial powers, local councils of deputies, civil society) will gather in Minsk.
The Belarusian head of state is expected to address the delegates and guests of the event. As he told journalists earlier, the Belarusian People's Congress should start with the president's brief review of the situation in the world, the country’s economy, existing challenges and threats. “It will be followed by other topics like personnel, our defense doctrine, and so on,” he noted.
The Belarusian People's Congress has been held in Belarus since 1996. Back then, as the country was going through a high-stakes political struggle and socio-economic turmoil, President Aleksandr Lukashenko turned to people for support and called the first Belarusian People's Congress. The decisions adopted at that Congress and at the referendum a month later shaped the political landscape of modern Belarus, reformed the power structure, and set clear guidelines for the development of the country.
Since then, it has become a tradition to hold the Congress every five years to discuss strategic issues with representatives of the public and the government. The congress was convened in 2001, 2006, 2010, 2016, and 2021.
The tradition to hold such a Congress is deeply rooted in the history of the country. Since ancient times, the most difficult issues have been discussed at the people's veche on Belarusian lands.
Today, the Belarusian People’s Congress is the supreme representative body of the people's power of the Republic of Belarus, which determines the strategic areas of the development of society and the state, ensures the inviolability of the constitutional system, continuity of generations and civil accord. In other words, it is a collective mind designed to choose the best option for the country's development, to stabilize society at all stages of its development and to exercise serious popular constitutional control over all processes in the country.
On the other hand, the Belarusian People’s Congress with its new powers is yet to find its place in the modern social order. This will be discussed at the forthcoming session.
In line with its new status, the Belarusian People's Congress is envisaged to convene at least one a year, not every five years, as it was before. The Belarusian People's Congress term of powers is five years.
The forthcoming session will discuss organizational matters relating to the operation of the Belarusian People’s Congress and documents of importance for the country. Participants of the Belarusian People’s Congress session will have to elect the tabulation commission, the chairperson of the congress, a deputy chairperson, and the presidium of the congress, which is a permanently operating working body. Participants of the session will also have to pass provisional regulations on the work of the congress.
The important documents are the National Security Concept and the Military Doctrine. These are fundamental documents regulating approaches of the state towards ensuring its own security in various spheres taking into account geopolitical changes in the world, the main views of the state on peace and war, the application of military force in response to existing challenges and threats. At the same time they retain continuity and the main idea of the peace-loving nature of the Belarusian nation.
The Belarusian People’s Congress is vested with the right to approve the main guidelines on domestic and foreign policies, the Military Doctrine, the National Security Concept, approve programs designed to guide the social and economic development of the Republic of Belarus, hear out reports from the prime minister on the fulfillment of programs on social and economic development of the Republic of Belarus. The Belarusian People’s Congress also has the right to initiate laws.
Decisions of the Belarusian People’s Congress are binding and can abolish legal instruments, other decisions of government agencies and civil servants that contradict national security interests except for court rulings. 

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