MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko responded to the criticism of the forthcoming Belarusian People's Congress by Belarusian opposition figures in exile as he hosted a government meeting to discuss legislation improvement in the country on 28 January, BelTA has learned.
“The Belarusian People's Congress is the topic of the day now. Is this something new? No, this will be the sixth edition of the congress. It always produced results. All those who wanted a dialogue could meet and discuss the things they wanted at these dialogue platforms on the ground. We have summed up their proposals and will forward them to the Belarusian People's Congress. We have faced criticism regarding the essence and agenda of the congress... This criticism is coming from these fugitives, first of all. They ran away and started talking nonsense from there,” the head of state said.
“Why are they doing it? They declared a boycott to the Belarusian People's Congress. After that they announced an ‘alternative congress of the diaspora'. The so-called opposition and fugitives refused to recognize the Belarusian People's Congress altogether. Why are you lamenting today? You don't recognize it. Who will elect you to this Belarusian People's Congress, who will invite you to this congress? You have announced an alternative event, so go ahead and hold this ‘congress' abroad,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
The president added that people from the opposition can also be invited to the Belarusian People's Congress, if they want to engage in a dialogue and work for the benefit of the country. “Delegates have already been elected, but if someone from the political opposition wants to hold a discussion for the good of the country, they can also get an invitation, as we have agreed. We have nothing to hide. The society must know our position,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that more and more people openly declare their support for the incumbent president and the authorities. “They even criticize me for saying that I do not want to be president anymore. I have heard that and stopped saying that. This has not changed my stance, but this is the opinion of people, my supporters. Secondly, they want us to openly and honestly convey their position; the authorities should speak up, they should not be afraid and play around. We are probably doing it too, including at today's meeting,” the Belarusian leader said.
He stated that there have always been people in Belarus who do not support him, but it is necessary to take into account the opinion of the majority. “We knew about such people, there were a lot of them - half a million who never voted for the incumbent president, including in the last election. However, you need to admit that about six million people voted for the current government, for the incumbent president,” the head of state concluded.