MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) – In his annual Address to Belarusian People and the National Assembly on 28 January Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave a recipe against dual power, BelTA has learned.
According to the president, the Belarusian People's Congress will fully represent various opinions and population groups. It will be an ad-hoc body of about 1,200 people.
The president addressed fears that the constitutional reform and the new status of the Belarusian People's Congress will lead to some kind of dual power. “I have recently said that it is time for us to learn to live by the law. If we strictly observe the Constitution and the laws that we will adopt in the follow-up to the Constitution, there will never be any dual power. Yet, there must be mutual control (I am telling you this as president), because we do not know (neither I nor you) who will be the next president. People can be fooled, but it has become difficult to fool the Belarusian people,” the head of state emphasized.
He stated that the powers of the Belarusian People's Congress will not overlap with the powers of other branches of power. “Moreover, to avoid clashes, the Belarusian People's Congress will incorporate members of the upper and lower houses of parliament, the head of state, and local authorities. We will gather here and determine our development paths. We will fight back any attempts to deviate from these paths, within the framework of the law, not on the streets. That is the point,” the Belarusian leader said.
The president emphasized that the Belarusian People's Congress is not some outlandish structure that emerged out of nowhere. This congress has already saved the country in previous years, admonished those who wanted to destroy the state, and therefore deserved a constitutional status.
The amendments and additions to the Constitution meet fundamental needs of society, the Belarusian leader stated. This is confirmed by the results of the opinion polls, according to which about 60% of citizens supported the idea to update the fundamental law. The most important thing, according to them, is to preserve the basic social guarantees (healthcare, support for the elderly, jobs, education, and so on), to ensure security and expand the rights and freedoms of citizens.
“Undoubtedly, the Constitution should enshrine the priority of these basic needs and it certainly will. If we abandon these things, we will erase the entire history of the last quarter of a century, our sovereign, independent history. This is our legacy, our advantage. We can't give it up. And we will not,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
“The dynamics of social relations sets new standards of living. Along with basic needs, there are also values of the highest order: self-fulfillment, self-esteem, one's place and voice in the world. All this has been taken into account as much as possible in the Constitution draft put up to the referendum,” the president said.
He also added that in the run-up to the referendum, he will host one more event to once again talk about the amendments to the Constitution. “I will summarize all your proposals, conversations and dialogues (I am closely following them), and we will find a form to once again return to the Constitution draft. Being the initiator of the referendum, I will explain certain provisions, changes to the fundamental law,” the Belarusian leader explained.