MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – The proposed constitutional amendments have aroused keen interest in the public, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a session to review the outcomes of the public discussion of the new Belarus Constitution draft on 18 January, BelTA has learned.
The head of state noted that the meeting to discuss the proposals and views of the public gathered a broad range of participants. “Members of the Constitutional Commission and the working group are present here. So are experts who fine-tuned and polished the Constitution draft before it was put out for public debate. We agreed to hold such a meeting at the year-end. Let me remind you that a nationwide discussion of the proposed constitutional amendments has been going on in the country for more than three weeks,” the president said.
“I decided to go for a large-scale discussion of the proposed amendments in order to get feedback, an opinion of experts, company executives, ordinary people, including civil servants, labor collectives and organizations. I have been told that the proposed amendments aroused keen interest. The very process of the constitutional reform and the forthcoming referendum are of interest to the public. People from across all walks of life got involved in the dialogue,” the head of state said.
He also noted that the state-run media are running an extensive awareness raising campaign. “Our opponents have also chimed in. They are sticking their oar in. This is exactly what they are doing. I got all their statements analyzed. They are trailing along behind, catching up all theses, all commas and starting to either criticize or refute them. Their logic is incomprehensible. They have already departed from their main slogan - ‘Change, change!',” the Belarusian leader stated.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that any changes and transformations should rely on the Constitution, since everything should be in accordance with the law. “This is a natural process of change. We should start in the same way as all civilized and educated people do. The Constitution should serve as the basis for these changes. We do not want to end up in a situation that will be worse than in Kazakhstan, the situation like the one in Ukraine. Therefore, we need to tread cautiously,” the president emphasized.
The head of state also believes that instead of learning from one's own mistakes, one should learn from mistakes and achievements of friends, neighbors and enemies. “I didn't invent this. We embarked on these changes using the above-mentioned principle,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In turn, the opposition only criticized the proposed constitutional amendments. “I have recently spoken about peacekeepers. You know what they wished to our peacekeeping contingent? To bring back at least one zinc coffin from there. What kind of opposition is it? These are enemies! They could have at least concealed their true goals,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
As for the discussion of the amendments and additions to the Constitution, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that many of the participants of the meeting visited labor collectives, organizations, and the regions. “Actually, the draft amendments to the Constitution itself are the result of numerous discussions, meetings, dialogue platforms. At least, no one can criticize me for having an absolute dictatorship in this matter and for not giving people the opportunity to speak up. Everyone who wanted to contribute their views, could do so,” the president said.