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28 September 2021, 16:17

Group of experts to finalize Belarusian Constitution draft before referendum

MINSK, 28 September (BelTA) – Summing up the discussion at the the extended session of the Constitutional Commission, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko decided who will finalize the draft of the new Constitution before the referendum and how they will do it, BelTA has learned.

“This is not the last meeting for us. I will repeat what I have already said. The Belarus President Administration will prepare a presidential executive order. In accordance with this document, a group will be created to finalize and improve the draft of the Constitution. We will meet often in order to answer certain questions. Before the submission of the draft for public consideration, we will have another meeting with you. The commission will not cease to exist. It will continue to work. You will know the members of the group. Please submit your proposals to the group,” the head of state said. “After the public discussions the group of lawyers will scrutinize the document and make final adjustments using the judicial language. Then the document will be put to a referendum. Lawyers will work there. This group must include specialists, economists and government officials.”

To give an example, Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the functions and role of the Belarusian People's Congress. “Do you think that lawyers will know these functions better than [Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir] Andreichenko? No. He has been working in this field for all his life. As an expert he will know what will work and what will not work. He is not a lawyer, but he has enough experience as a parliamentarian.”

“Therefore, different people must be included in this group. There must be good senior officials. Olga Ivanovna [Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Olga Chupris], please take the final document from lawyers and analyze from the legal point of view. The Constitution is, first of all, a legal document,” the head of state said.

After the improvement of the current document and its public discussion, lawyers will finalize the document and submit it to the president. Later the document will be put to a referendum. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that at this stage members of the Constitutional Commission can also take part in the process. “This is not only the group of people who are present here. We need to determine these people. I worked with a similar group on the current Constitution,” the Belarusian leader remarked. “Do not say that it is up to lawyers to work on the Constitution. No. Lawyers can substantiate any idea, but they will do it at the final stage.”

In conclusion, Aleksandr Lukashenko gave concrete instructions and set concrete terms. “Submit proposals to this group within a week. We need to finalize the Constitution within a month. After that we will meet once again to discuss the project and submit it for public consideration. We will have another meeting before the referendum. You will get the draft in advance, and then we will make a decision.”

BelTA reported earlier that, according to Aleksandr Lukashenko, a referendum on a new version of the Belarusian Constitution will be held no later than February 2022. “It is very important to ensure that all the work on the constitutional construction serves as a basis for consolidation of the Belarusian society and lays a solid legal foundation for the country's development in the future. I am sure it will be so, because the people will make the final decision. As I have already said, the referendum will take place no later than February 2022,” the president said.

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