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09 September 2020, 13:06

Lukashenko: Proposals for constitutional reform will be published soon

MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) – Proposals to reform the Constitution in step with modern times will be brought forward soon, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the Russian media, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that two versions of the new Constitution had already been submitted to him, but the proposed amendments were not dramatic enough in his view. A group of experts is currently working on the third version of the Constitution. “They will put forward their proposals that go in step with modern times soon,” the president said.

The head of state was asked with whom he was ready to discuss the reform of the social and political life in the country. Aleksandr Lukashenko responded that such a dialogue should begin from below. “I should engage in a dialogue with students, labor collectives, and representatives not only of the authorities, but also of the civil society in Brest, Grodno, Vitebsk, Mogilev, Minsk. There are veteran, trade union organizations (of various kinds), there are women's organizations and even parties. There are also youth organizations. The society is well-structured. Their representatives, including those with a different point of view, should be able to talk to the president. And we should set up councils that will also feature representatives of our civil society and authorities in all regions to discuss this Constitution and exchange ideas,” the Belarusian head of state believes.

The president stated that he has nothing to talk about with the opposition that is proposing anti-Russian, which also means, anti-Belarusian, programs, and calls not to pay taxes and utility bills, not to buy Belarusian products. He mentioned their suggestion to privatize well-performing state-run enterprises. “We have tried this. What do investors say? Fire half the staff, do not make this, do not do that. To put it bluntly, you will just do the simplest operations, while the main scope of work will be done, let us say, in Germany, with Volvo managing BelavtoMAZ. This means, the design office and the think tank will be there, while you will just assemble the products here, and half of the people will be sacked. Cutting output and workforce, shifting the bulk of intellectual labor to Germany – who would want this? Not me. Should I speak with them about such investment?” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Another point is to drop free education and medicine. Had we done it, we would have buried the country under corpses during the pandemic. You know what the unavailability of free medicine means, Europe and the USA gave us an example: if you have money we will treat you. You would like me to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss whether we should introduce this type of healthcare system? The same with education. We are not rich people, but everyone can get education. The poor and the rich alike. We control this very closely,” the head of state stressed.

He also pointed out that there is another important body in Belarus – the All-Belarus People's Congress. It will convene again in December or January. The congress will discuss the country's development in the next five-year term, social, political, and economic matters. “I believe that we will be able to schedule some activities, down to the presidential election,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

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