MINSK, 24 January (BelTA) – Only the incumbent head of state will be able to hold concurrently the positions of the president and chairman of the Belarusian People's Congress, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Olga Chupris told the Belarus 1 channel, BelTA has learned.
The possibility of combining these two jobs was discussed at the meeting hosted by the president of Belarus on 18 January where the participants took stock of the outcomes of a nationwide discussion of the draft amendments and addenda to the Constitution. This matter arose a debate, in which Olga Chupris also participated.
“It was important for me to hear the opinion of the president on this very important issue raised by Professor Grigory Vasilevich. Therefore, I clarified it to make sure I got his point right, so that later I could ask him for permission to revisit this issue and discuss it with experts, lawyers and submit it to the Constitutional Commission and then to forward the outcomes of this work to the president,” the deputy head of the Belarus President Administration said.
According to her, when this matter was under discussion, several options were on the table and different opinions were voiced. “After all, the president had made it clear that there should be no combining of two job titles. And at the meeting, by the way, he said that we needed to move towards the division of functions. Yet, after we had another discussion and heard what the president had to say about it, we came to the following conclusion: the Belarusian People's Congress should be able to invite the president to become chairman of the Belarusian People's Congress. And if the president considers it possible to take on this role, then he will hold these two jobs concurrently. However, this applies only to the incumbent president of the Republic of Belarus and concerns the transitional period when we need to come up with additional safety mechanisms and build the entire system. And here the president's help might come in handy. That is the reason why this matter was subject to such a serious debate,” Olga Chupris said.
She went on saying that the president always listens to all points of view: “At least, I don't know of any cases when the president scolded someone for voicing their opinion, even if this opinion differed from his own. He welcomes constructive and sound discussion and debate.”