Political Manifesto of the Belarusian diaspora of the Netherlands on the issue of the February 27, 2022 referendum on the new Constitution of the Republic of Belarus
On the announced for February 27, 2022 by the authorities of the Republic of Belarus referendum on the revision of the Constitution,
We, the Belarusian diaspora of the Netherlands, declare the following:
We do not recognize for Alexander Lukashenko the right to hold a referendum on the Constitution. In our view, Lukashenko is in power illegally and does not have the legitimacy to carry out any acts meant to change the governmental structure of the country. We regard the “referendum” announced by him for February 27, 2022 as an unlawful act and a political farce.
We strongly object to the changes that are being imposed on the people of Belarus through alterations seen in the Constitution draft. The following provisions, or a lack thereof in the draft text are of particular concern to us:
- the abandonment of the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Belarus— as representing a serious threat to the sovereignty of the country and regional security;
- removal of the possibility of criminal and other kinds of liability from the President for actions during the period of performing her/his duties in the office.
We point out that the “referendum” is being held against the backdrop of a deepening political crisis and gross violations of human rights and freedoms in Belarus. As of February 13, 2022, there are 1,050 political prisoners in Belarus, and their number is growing every day.
We fully support the position of the leaders of the democratic forces of Belarus and believe that the only sustainable way out of the crisis in Belarus is the release of political prisoners and the holding of new early presidential elections under international observation.
We appeal to the government and parliament of the Netherlands, as well as governments and parliaments of other European countries, with a call to officially declare the non-recognition of the legitimacy of the planned referendum and the intended changes to the Constitution of Belarus.
On behalf of the Belarusian diaspora of the Netherlands:
The People's Embassy of Belarus in the Netherlands