Belarusian authorities test society for extending presidential term
Central Election Commission Chairman Lidziya Yarmoshyna said that the electoral system could be changed without a referendum. Extending the term of office of elected bodies in Belarus, including the president, is not yet a mainstream topic in a public debate. Except for the ‘Tell the Truth!’ campaign, opposition groups have ignored the LDPB initiative. Perhaps the proposal by the party leaders loyal to the authorities was an attempt to initiate a public debate about adding powers to the president and to test people’s response. Most likely, the Belarusian authorities are aware of the low support for such an initiative in society, but, nevertheless they would like to measure the degree of polarisation in society and the level of possible politicisation, should such an initiative be implemented.
According to Decree No. 221 of June 23rd, 2017, deadlines for the completion of foreign trade operations have been extended from 90 to 180 days for exports and from 60 to 90 days for imports. Delayed payments entailed a fine up to 2% of the transaction cost for each day of the delay, but could not exceed the total cost of the transaction. Most companies, when working with new counterparties, require a deferred payment for a period of three to six months. Due to the new regulation, violations are likely to reduce in number, so as the fines. Trade enterprises are likely to expand the assortment list due to the supply of new products in small lots, and the assortment list of exported Belarusian goods could expand, too. The new terms for completing foreign trade transactions would enable medium and small companies on the foreign trade market, exporters and importers are likely to grow in number and the geography of export-import operations could expand.