Section 3. Electoral System. Referendum
Chapter 1. Electoral System
The elections of deputies and other persons elected to state office by the people shall be universal: citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have reached the age of 18 shall be eligible to vote.
Citizens who are deemed incapable by a court of law or held in places of confinement in accordance with the verdict of a court shall not take part in elections. Persons in respect of whom preventive punishment-detention is selected under the procedure specified in the law on criminal proceedings shall not take part in voting. Any direct or indirect restrictions on citizens’ voting rights in other instances shall be impermissible and punishable by law.
The age qualification of deputies and other persons elected to state positions shall be determined by corresponding laws, unless otherwise provided by the Constitution.
Elections shall be free. A voter shall decide personally whether to take part in elections and for whom to vote. The preparation and conduct of elections shall be open and in public.
Elections shall be held according to the principle of equal suffrage. Voters shall have equal number of votes.
Candidates standing for public office shall take part in elections on an equal basis.
Elections of deputies shall be direct. Deputies shall be elected by citizens directly.
Voting at elections shall be secret. The monitoring of voters’ preferences while voting is in progress shall be prohibited.
Public associations, work collectives and citizens shall have the right to nominate candidates for deputy in accordance with the law.
Expenditure incurred in the preparation and conduct of elections shall be covered by the State within the limits of the funds assigned for that purpose. In instances determined by the law, the expenditure for the preparation and conduct of elections may be carried out at the expense of public associations, enterprises, offices, organizations and citizens.
Elections shall be conducted by electoral commissions, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution.
The procedure governing the conduct of elections shall be determined by the laws of the Republic of Belarus.
No elections shall be held during a state of emergency or martial law.
The recall of deputies shall be exercised to the order and instances as determined by the law.
The voting for the recall of a deputy shall be exercised to the order determined for the election of the deputy, and on the initiative of no less than 20 percent of the citizens eligible to vote and resident in the corresponding area.
The reason and order for the recall of a member of the Council of the Republic shall be determined by the law.
Chapter 2. Referendum (Plebiscite)
National and local referenda may be held to resolve the most important issues of the State and society.
National referenda shall be called on the initiative of the President of the Republic of Belarus, as well as on the initiative of the Council of the Republic or House of Representatives, which is taken at their separate sittings by a majority of the full number of deputies of each house, or on the initiative of no fewer than 450,000 citizens eligible to vote, including no fewer than 30,000 citizens from each of the regions (oblasts) and city of Minsk.
The President shall call a national referendum after its submission by the Council of the Republic and House of Representatives in accordance with the law, or by the citizens themselves.
The date of the referendum shall be no later than three months since the President issued the decree on holding a referendum.
The decisions taken by the national referendum shall be signed by the President of the Republic of Belarus.
Local referenda shall be called by the relevant local representative bodies on their initiative or on the recommendation of no less than ten percent of the citizens who are eligible to vote and resident in the area concerned.
Referenda shall be conducted by means of universal, free, equal and secret ballot. Citizens of the Republic of Belarus eligible to vote shall take part in referenda.
The decisions adopted by referendum may be reversed or amended only by means of another referendum, unless otherwise specified by the referendum.
The procedure governing the conduct of national and local referenda and a list of issues that may not be put to a referendum shall be determined by the law of the Republic of Belarus.