When will sanctions end? Do we need lustrations? Will we receive pensions? FAQ about the transition period

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya: “Dear Uladzimir, Leu, Aleh and Anatoli. Thank you for your willingness to share your vision of the transition period. I see the transition period as the time from the moment the regime already lost control over the state and security apparatus – to the moment of free elections and the establishment of democratic institutions. What needs to be done during this time? I see six main objectives.

The first objective is to restore legitimacy and justice. All people who have been politically persecuted must be released and rehabilitated. Therefore, we – together – need to finalize the Rehabilitation Act, which already has a draft. And the harm inflicted upon the people must be compensated – for example, through a special fund, with resources, in particular, from those found guilty of repressions by a fair court. And, of course, we need to reform the law enforcement and judicial systems to regain the trust of Belarusians.

The second objective is to restore the constitutional order. We will need to adopt a new Constitution, approved by Belarusians in a fair referendum, to prevent recurrence of the dictatorship. Then, we will need a package of laws on elections and the operation of courts. Laws that limit the power of the president and increase the power of the parliament, restore the powers of local authorities, lawyers, prosecutors, trade unions, and the mass media.

The third objective is to ensure the smooth operation of the state. During the transition period, all pensions, salaries, social benefits, stipends – must be paid without disruption. Therefore, most civil servants, who honestly perform their work, should continue to do so. And those who have committed crimes will be dealt with by law enforcement agencies and the courts. And it is time to put an end to the secrecy of government agencies. All information about the work of government agencies, budgets, and public procurement must become open and accessible to the people.

The fourth objective is to ensure the sustainability of the economy. So that the sanctions are lifted, people's incomes do not fall even further, and the budget survives; so that businesses and people who fled Belarus can return. We should prepare for the implementation of the EU plan for a democratic Belarus – now it is designed for 3 billion euros, but it can be expanded.

The fifth objective is to comply with international obligations. For Belarus to stop being considered a pariah, we need to renew its reputation. To implement the OSCE and UN recommendations concerning human rights, freedom of speech, regional security and migration policy. Belarus should bring back its neutral status, no military activities should be conducted from the territory of Belarus, and there should be no foreign troops and nuclear weapons in our country.

And, of course, the sixth objective is to hold free elections as soon as possible: the president, parliament and local authorities. The first such elections will have to be held according to the old legislation, but the Special Representative on Elections, Alexander Shlyk, has already developed proposals on how to do it freely, fairly and transparently. The following free elections will be held on the basis of the new Electoral Code, which is to be adopted by the new Parliament.

At this point I will pass the floor to the speakers – it is important for me to understand how you see the transition period, what you think we should all do in this time – and who should take responsibility for these objectives?”