Executive Power

Executive Power

The Belarusian Government, or the Council of Ministers, consists of the Prime Minister, his/her deputies, ministers heading the corresponding ministries and heads of the state committees. The Government is accountable to the President and is responsible to the Parliament.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the consent of the House of Representatives and de facto is fully subordinated to the head of the state.

Belarus is divided territorially into six regions (Hrodna, Brest, Viciebsk, Mahiloŭ, Minsk, Homiel) and the city of Minsk which enjoys a special status and is equivalent to a region.

Each region is further subdivided into districts (118), as well as 12 cities of regional subordination. The lower level of administrative-territorial units is comprised by village, township and municipal councils. Minsk, central regional cities, and Bobruisk (Mogilev region) are subdivided into city districts.

Local authorities are composed of regional, district, municipal, township and village executive committees and local administrations. An executive committee with the rights of a legal entity is an executive and regulatory authority on the territory of a region, district, city, town, village council.

There are three levels of a local administration system:

primary (village, township and municipal (towns under district jurisdiction);

basic (municipal (cities of regional subordination), district);

- regional.

Local administration institutions are included in the executive power system and resolve local issues at the local level. Heads of the local executive committees are appointed by the higher-level executive agencies and are independent from the local representative bodies – the Councils.

Local Councils (regional, district, municipal, township) formed during the elections of local councilors have no real opportunity to control local executive power which is subordinated to a higher-level executive agency. Such a system is called “vertical” and it means the vertical subordination of the executive power starting from village level through district and regional and up to the President.

Yury Chaussov, political scientist

Author: Handbook on Belarus for International journalists