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09 September 2020, 12:35

Lukashenko talks about new Constitution, presidential authority, parliament, early elections

MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) – The new Constitution will have to redistribute the authority between government bodies, yet the president will have to play a strong role. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement in a recent interview with Russian mass media, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Some representatives of individual political parties generally agree that it is necessary to redistribute authority between government bodies. While doing so, it is necessary to remember that Russia and Belarus (Ukraine is a good example) are Slavonic nations where a strong leader with certain authority is a must. It is what his strength is all about. But probably not the kind of authority the Belarusian president has.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that many powers of the current presidential office are colossal. He believes it is necessary to delegate them to oblast governors and the parliament, make the parliament really work. “But on one condition: once you get the authority, you will get responsibility as well. This is why the president has to retain control over the situation in the country, oversight over branches of power. The president of Belarus does not head a single branch of power. He maintains control and guides the operation of branches of power. He should preserve it. It is his main functions. Defense and security as well. Maybe some functions regarding personnel appointments and so on as well,” the president added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko
Aleksandr Lukashenko

Speaking about the structure of the Belarusian parliament, Aleksandr Lukashenko said it is necessary to create genuine political parties before introducing a party system or a majority voting system. “They have not been created. We didn't indulge in party construction because the nation had no need for parties. It has no need for them now. Some people are shouting in favor of political parties and the rest. I can assure them: if we go to polls and political parties nominate candidates or candidates are nominated via majority lists, people will vote for majority parties if people don't know representatives of the parties because people understand that a majority party represents the nation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced. “Maybe it is time for me to take a serious look at it. Certainly before we pass a new Constitution, we will have to once again brush up the law on political parties. At least we have to decide how many members a political party has to have. Because right now everyone is talking about political parties, parties have been registered, while virtually no party has membership cards. And if a party has party cards, the number of members is low. We will have to streamline all these things and then proceed with the elections.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko is inclined towards the organization of the new presidential election after the new Constitution is passed. “I don't rule it out. I cannot specify the dates. We have to pass the Constitution, arrange elections to municipal government agencies. If an early presidential election is needed, we probably should organize it before parliamentary elections. After all, the parliament has to stay in place until the new president is elected. Then we will use the new Constitution (it will be passed earlier) to hold the parliamentary elections,” Aleksandr Lukashenko shared his vision of the reforms.

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“On entering Minsk you see peacefulness and cleanliness despite certain protests. It is a brand, and all this has been preserved, this has not gone anywhere. I have already said recently: once you drive behind the ring road, you see a completely different life there,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
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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.
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The president stated that one of the last articles of the treaty referred to the adoption of the Constitutional Act of the Union State at referendums in Belarus and Russia.
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Yet he stressed that it is not the time to relax yet. “Russia shouldn't relax either. It is the beginning. Americans have long-term goals. Yes, we've intercepted that conversation. Even if you laugh at it, it was a genuine conversation,” the Belarusian leader stated.
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Prior to those events various messages started appearing in the Internet and Telegram channels. The messages claimed that Aleksandr Lukashenko was in Rostov, that he had fled the country, that he was a coward, and so on. “What would you have done in my place?” he asked the interviewers.
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“Pay attention: the support I received at the recent election was no weaker than in the previous elections, however, this election was followed by an uproar. Earlier they accepted the election results, no one induced these people. This time they were induced,” Aleksandr Lukashenko responded.
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The president stated that Belarus had not simply changed but had become a totally different country. “I've straightened it out. It is one of the reasons I had an assault rifle. Not only because I am ready to defend it by all means. I have nothing apart from these accomplishments," he said.

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