The First Constituent Charter Directed to the Peoples of Belarus

Our native land has found itself in a new and difficult situation. The fate of the regime that was here previously is not known. We face the possible occupation of our land by German troops.

We must take our fate into our own hands. The Belarusian people must assert their right to full self-determination, and the national minorities their right to national and personal autonomy.

The rights of the nation should find realization by means of a Constituent Assembly convened on democratic principles.

However, even before convening the Constituent Assembly, all power in Belarus should belong to the peoples residing therein.

The Executive Committee of the Council (Rada) of the First All-Belarusian Congress, supplemented by representatives of the revolutionary democracy of the national minorities and fulfilling the goals imposed upon it by the Congress, declares itself to be the Provisional Authority in Belarus to govern the land and to convene as soon as possible an All-Belarusian Constituent Assembly based on universal voting rights for the entire adult population without distinction of nationality, religion, or sex.

The Provisional National Authority in the land, having assumed the tasks of defending and strengthening the revolutionary achievements, will cany out these tasks through the National Secretariat of Belarus, which has been established and which, from this date on, has assumed the exercise of its responsibilities. The names of the members of the Secretariat will be published later.

 

Given in Belarusian Miensk, February 21(8), 1918.

The Executive Committee of the Council of the First All-Belarusian Congress




Source: Byelorussian Statehood. Reader and Bibliography. New York, 1988.
Translation: Thomas E. Bird, Jan Zaprudnik

Беларуская Палічка: http://knihi.com