Second Constituent Charter
To people of Belarus
During this World War in
which some powerful states have been destroyed and others liberated, Belarus has awakened
to national life. After three and a half centuries of subjugation, the Belarusan nation
again declares to the entire world that it is alive and will remain alive. The Great
National Assembly the All-Belarusan Congress of December 5-17, 1917, concerned about the
fate of Belarus, confirmed a republican government within its territory. Carrying out the
will of the Congress and defending the national rights of the people, the Executive
Committee of the Council (Rada) of the Congress, decrees the following concerning the
political structure of Belarus and the rights and freedoms of her citizens and peoples:
- Belarus, within the borders of the numerical majority of the Belarusan people, is declared to be a Democratic Republic.
- The fundamental laws of the Belarusan Democratic Republic will be confirmed by the Constituent Assembly of Belarus, convened on the principles of a universal, equal, direct, secret, and proportional voting law without regard to sex, nationality, or religion.
- Until such time as the Constituent Assembly of Belarus convenes, the legislative authority in the Belarusan Deratic Republic shall belong to the Council of the All-Belarusan Congress, augmented by representatives of the national minorities of Belarus.
- The executive and administrative authority in the Belarusan Democratic Republic shall belong to the National Secretariat of Belarus which shall be appointed by the Council of the Congress and be
- Within the borders of the Belarusan Democratic Republic freedom of speech, press, assembly, and the right to strike and organize unions are proclaimed; as well as unconditional freedom of conscience, and the inviolability of the individual and of residence.
- Within the borders of the Belarusan Democratic Republic all peoples have the right to national and personal autonomy; and equal rights for all the languages of the peoples of Belarus are proclaimed.
- Within the borders of the Belarusan Democratic Republic the right to private ownership of land is abolished. The land is to be given over without payment to those who till it. Forests, lakes, and natural resources are declared to be the property of the Belarusan Democratic Republic.
- Within the borders of the Belarusan Democratic Republic a working day of a maximum of eight hours is established.
Proclaiming all these rights and freedoms for the citizens and peoples of the Belarusan Democratic Republic, we, the Executive Committee of the Council of the Congress pledge to guard the legal order of life in the Republic, ensure the interests of all the citizens and peoples of the Republic, and preserve the rights and freedoms of the working people. We shall also apply all oui, strength to convene the Constituent Assembly of Byelorussia in the very near future.
We call on all faithful sons of the Belarusan land to assist us in our difficult and responsible labors.
The Executive Committee of the Council of the First All-Belarusan Congress
Given in Belarusan Miensk, March 9, 1918.