MINSK, 13 May (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with senior members of the Constitutional Commission of Belarus on 13 May, BelTA has learned.
“We are making the Constitution of the future of our state. If we want an integral and fair state, we need an integral and fair Constitution and the way to this Constitution should also be like that. If people uphold the new Constitution project, it will be passed. If they don't, we will stick to the existing Constitution. Yet, we need to convince people to support our new draft Constitution. If we want people to support it, this document should meet their needs,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted that much will depend on the Belarusian elite - the country's decision-makers at all levels, the legal community, educated, smart and talented people who will not only take a stand, but will also take the lead.
According to the head of state, the ongoing interim meeting was requested by senior members of the commission who wanted to discuss a number of issues within their scope of authority. “I think that we will promptly consider these issues. I want you to know that at this stage I am virtually not involved in the work of the Constitutional Commission and you feel it. However, if necessary, if you want to discuss some specific issues, we will get together and discuss them, the same way as we are doing today,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted that when the new Constitution is drafted, a detailed and thorough discussion of the constitutional amendments will take place with his participation: “We will get together and read it chapter by chapter, article by article, paying particular attention to the new things. I will express my opinion. You will express yours. However, this does not mean that we will see eye to eye about everything - some of the commission members will not agree with some amendments, government agencies will be able to put forward their proposals. So will the general public after we put the document up for discussion. We should take this into account.”
The head of state thanked the people who contribute their views on the constitutional amendments. “There are some intelligent, smart lawyers who approach the chairman of the Constitutional Commission, the heads of the parliament chambers and put forward amendments to the draft Constitution or other proposals. In a word, people who want to preserve the country, who understand what the Constitution is have taken an active stance,” the Belarusian leader noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the Constitution is the basic structure of our state, and in no case should this document be flawed in any way, no amendments should be made for show or for populist purposes. The president warned against drafting a constitution that would contain some populist amendments that are needed to push the document through the referendum. “It should not be this way,” the president said addressing Chairman of the Constitutional Commission and the Constitutional Court Piotr Miklashevich.
Following the meeting with the head of state, Chairman of the Constitutional Commission and the Constitutional Court Piotr Miklashevich told reporters that the work of the commission continues as planned. Three meetings already took place to discuss amendments to such sections as the fundamental rights and freedoms of man and citizen (these amendments cover 14 articles), the electoral system (8 articles), as well as proposals regarding redistribution of powers between the president and the government. “Tomorrow we will discuss the functions and powers of the parliament,” Piotr Miklashevich said.
“The key task for the Constitutional Commission is to find the best way to redistribute powers between the president, the government and the parliament while preserving the presidential republic. Some aspects of this redistribution were discussed at today's meeting with the president,” he explained. In his words, while working on the redistribution of powers, it is important, on the one hand, to maintain a strong presidential power, and on the other, to increase the activity of the government and the parliament.
“The commission is set to hold six meetings. We are approaching this matter comprehensively, we are carefully analyzing citizens' proposals to amend the Constitution,” the head of the commission emphasized. Such proposals come in thousands. “We take these proposals very seriously, since the Constitution is a social contract on the structure of the society and the state, the system of state power, the relationship between the individual, the society and the state. Therefore, it is very important today to build an understanding of what people expect from the updated fundamental law that will govern our lives in the future,” Piotr Miklashevich said.