Updated at 01:15,21-10-2016

House of Representatives to Hold Extraordinary Session on September 7

21-07-2010, 14:38

Alyaksandr Lukashenka, by his July 19 presidential edict, directed that the House of Representatives should hold an extraordinary session on September 7.

The agenda of the lower chamber's one-day session will include the country's draft budget for next year and amendments to the Tax and Budget Codes. In addition, "other issues may also be considered" at the session, according to the edict.

Experts suggest that the lower chamber will hold the session to call presidential elections.

Under the constitution, presidential elections should be called by the House of Representatives and held no later than five and two months, respectively, before the expiry of the incumbent president's term.
Mr. Lukashenka's term expires on April 6, 2011 and the elections should take place on February 6 at the latest. They should be called no later than October 6.

The lower chamber is scheduled to reconvene for its fall session on October 2.

Political analyst Alyaksandr Fyaduta said that holding the elections this year would be more advantageous for Mr. Lukashenka. "Gas price talks with Russia will not be completed at the end of the year. Lukashenka will still have opportunities for maneuvers as he will be subject to pressure from Russia to a lower extent," he said.

The expert also linked the possibility of the vote being held this year to the government's promise to raise the average monthly pay to $500 before the end of 2010. "For Lukashenka to reap benefits from this in the elections, the public should be earning such money for a couple of months before the vote, as well as for a month after so that there are no disturbances in the volatile post-election situation. The Belarusian budget will not be able to pay such a big amount caused by the pay hike to employees of government-funded organizations for over two or three months without a devaluation," Mr. Fyaduta said.