The President of Belarus on June, 18, 2012, signed the Executive Orders that set September 23, 2012 as the date for elections to the House of Representatives of the fifth convocation, and determine the period from June 30 till September 30, 2012 for the elections to the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the fifth convocation.
The dates of the elections meet the requirements of the Constitution, which stipulates that elections are called by the President 4 month prior and are held 30 days before the expiration of mandate of the incumbent House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic. The mandate of the House of Representatives of the fourth convocation expires on October 27, 2012, the mandate of the Council of the Republic is valid till October 31, 2012.
The Council of the Republic is a chamber of territorial representation. The members are elected every four years. Eight members of the Council of the Republic are appointed by the President of Belarus and the remaining members are elected by secret vote: eight members of the Council of the Republic are elected from each of the country's oblasts and Minsk City at sessions of municipal and regional Councils of Deputies.
Members of the House of Representatives are elected from single-mandate constituencies directly by citizens. The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus determines that the elections are free and are held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. The members of the House of Representatives are elected every four years.