President - The President of the Republic of Belarus is elected directly by the people for a term of office of five years. He/she is the Head of State, the guarantor of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, rights and freedoms of an individual and a citizen. According to the Constitution, the President personifies the unity of the nation, guarantees pursuance of the domestic and foreign policy in the main spheres, represents the Republic of Belarus in relations with other states and international organisations. He/she undertakes to protect the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus, its national security and territorial integrity and secures its political and economic stability, succession and interaction of bodies of state power, and acts as an intermediator between the bodies of state power.
The fundamental law of the Republic of Belarus provides for qualifications imposed upon a candidate for the presidency: he/she must be a citizen of the Republic of Belarus by birth, above 35 years of age, enjoy the right to vote and continuously reside in Belarus not less than 10 years directly prior to elections. The candidate for presidency has to submit an income declaration.
Pursuant to the Constitution (Article 84) and the Law On President of the Republic of Belarus, the President of the state has the following rights:
• calls national referenda;
• calls regular and off-year elections to the House of Representatives, the Council of the Republic and local representative bodies;
• dissolves Chambers of the Parliament in cases and following the procedure provided for by the Constitution;
• appoints 6 members of the Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus on Elections and National Referenda;
• forms, dissolves and reorganises the Administration of the President, other bodies of state administration, as well as consultative and advisory and other bodies under the authority of the President;
• appoints the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus with the approval of the House of Representatives;
• determines the structure of the Government of the Republic of Belarus, appoints and dismisses Deputy Prime Ministers, ministers and other members of the Government, makes decision on the resignation of the Government or its members;
• appoints, with the approval of the Council of the Republic, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Supreme Court and Chairman of the Supreme Economic Court from among the judges of these courts;
• appoints, with the approval of the Council of the Republic, the judges of the Supreme Court, Supreme Economic Court, Chairman of the Central Commission on Elections and National Referenda, the Prosecutor-General, the Governor and members of the Board of Directors of the National Bank;
• appoints 6 judges of the Constitutional Court, and other judges of the Republic of Belarus;
• dismisses Heads of judicial and other bodies;
• addresses the nation of the Republic of Belarus on the situation in the state and main spheres of the domestic and foreign policy;
• annually addresses the Parliament;
• has the right to chair the meetings of the Government of the Republic of Belarus;
• appoints the Heads of national bodies of state administration and determines their status; appoints official representatives of the President in the Parliament and other officials whose offices are determined by the law;
• addresses issues regarding the admission to citizenship of the Republic of Belarus, termination thereof and the granting of asylum;
• institutes state holidays and red-letter days, bestows state awards, ranks and titles;
• grants pardons to convicted citizens;
• conducts negotiations and signs international treaties, appoints and recalls diplomatic envoys of the Republic of Belarus to foreign states and international organisations;
• receives credentials and letters of recall of the accredited diplomatic representatives of foreign countries;
• in the event of a natural disaster, a catastrophe, or unrest involving violence or the threat of violence, declares a state of emergency in the territory of the Republic of Belarus or in specific areas thereof and submits the decision to the Council of the Republic for approval within three days;
• signs laws; has the right to return the law or its specific provisions with his/her objections to the House of Representatives pursuant to the procedure provided for by the Constitution;
• has the right to abolish acts of the Government;
• exercises supervision directly or through specially formed bodies of observance of laws by local governing or self-governing bodies; has the right to suspend decisions of Local Councils of Deputies and abolish decisions of local executive and administrative bodies in case of non-compliance with the legislation;
• forms and heads the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus;
• is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus;
• imposes, in the event of military threat or attack, martial law in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
In accordance with the Constitution (Article 85), the President issues decrees and instructions which have a binding force throughout the territory of the Republic of Belarus. In cases, provided for by the Constitution, the President issues decrees having the force of the law.
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