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06 December 2021, 12:47

Lukashenko: Time to decentralize power in Belarus

MINSK, 6 December (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko explained the reasons for amending the Constitution as he appointed new heads of local authorities on 6 December, BelTA has learned.

“We would have made a huge mistake had we let ourselves be defeated last year. The country would have simply ceased to exist. Had they been in power for one day, there would have already been a NATO bloc near Smolensk. It is enough to seize power for a day to call foreign troops here. The Constitution allows the president to do this. One of those would have taken advantage of this opportunity. Would it be legal? It would. That is why we are trying to somehow rectify the Constitution,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state emphasized that in the current conditions no one should be able to have all the power in their hands. “This is not the mid-1990s, when there was a disaster: no one knew what to do or where to go. Indeed, it was risky back then to have a Constitution that allows one person to have a lot of power. Yet, we didn't seem to have done anything too harmful to the people. And we have built a state and we need to defend it. And now we need to move away from the great concentration of power in the hands of one person and it does not matter whether it will be me or not, I mean the future president. People want changes. This is the reason why we need a new Constitution, this is not because ‘Lukashenko needs this Constitution'. Listen, Lukashenko has had enough of these constitutions, power and everything else. Now the question is not about Lukashenko, but about maintaining stability in our country,” the president said.

He drew attention to the fact that the self-exiled opposition is now fighting against the amendments to the Constitution of Belarus. In his opinion, this policy is odd. “Listen, what are you fighting against? If people vote against the amendments in the referendum – the current Constitution will remain in place, the government will remain as it is,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

According to the head of state, the self-exiled opposition would like to return to the 1994 Constitution. “They kept quiet for some time, but now they resumed their calls to return to the 1994 Constitution. Back then the country was a mess, no one was responsible for anything, everyone was their own boss. Why the 1994 Constitution? They woke up and said (and Westerners doubled down on it): Let's go back, there will be slight chaos, we will divide the assets, and then redistribute the power and go back to the same power model as under Lukashenko. This is their plan. But there are no fools here, this plan is not going work,” the president emphasized.

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