Elections to House of Representatives of Belarus' National Assembly
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko cast his vote in the elections to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on 17 November.
The head of state cast his ballot at polling station No.506 of Starovilensky constituency No.105 of the Tsentralny District of Minsk, located at the Belarusian State University of Physical Education.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also answered reporters’ questions regarding the elections, foreign policy, relations with Russia and western countries, performance of the agricultural industry in 2019, and other topics.
During the conversation with journalists Aleksandr Lukashenko said that proactive people who will work in the parliament will be supported in Belarus. “This is a very serious practical issue for me. I have never concealed that we will support certain proactive people who will work in this parliament,” the head of state said. “In any country a certain MP or a group of MPs are supported.”
“As the head of state supervising the operation of all branches of power in accordance with the Constitution, I am doing my best to make them efficient. I want the life in the country to improve after these elections. This is my goal,” the Belarusian leader remarked.
In his words, a new convocation of the parliament will have to address many issues. “But I will tell you about their main objective. We have built the first sovereign independent state in Belarus. All of you, all of us. Some people were building it, others were and still are dragging behind impeding the development of this state. So, the main objective for all branches of power in Belarus is to protect the state, its sovereignty and independence. It is important for the parliament to make laws, which are the rules of life in the society. This is the main thing. People will solve other issues on their own,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.
“All people in the country should do their job. MPs should make and codify laws, make them simpler and more understandable, they should pass new laws as live goes on and is changing, and we must keep up with it,” the head of state stressed.
Speaking about his vote in the election, he said: “You shouldn’t even ask about it. If you look at the voting list, you will understand immediately for whom I voted. If I appoint a person to a certain position, and do not do anything bad since then (only good things), I can vote for them.”
The head of state said that the authorities support certain candidates, but do not impose the choice on people. “They say that I already have a list with all 110 MPs who will be elected today on my table. Nonsense. There were several open, ardent members of the opposition and a number of people with different opinions in the previous parliament. They were not in opposition, but their views were different. Do you want to say that they were in the list of those 110?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.
The President said that the state, enterprises support certain candidates, but they are not going to impose their will on citizens. Besides, the parliament is not the Supreme Council in Belarus. “Why should the President be against 3-4 blatant opposition members in the parliament? They will not determine the policy of the parliament and especially the policy of the country,” the head of state explained. However, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that he does not want any crap to happen in the parliament.
“We will elect such MPs who will take care of your interests, if you want to protect the main thing, which is the sovereignty and independence of our country. If you want this piece of land to be ours, to be the land of your children,” the President concluded.
Aleksandr Lukashenko admitted that he cares about the way the elections will be perceived abroad, but not too much. “I don’t usually fret over it,” the Belarusian leader said.
He noted that the elections in Belarus are held first of all, for the Belarusian people and in line with the law. “What I do care about is that our elections are compliant with our laws and the Constitution. We conduct elections for our country, our people, to make life better here. We hold the elections the way we deem right,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“If the society does not like the way the President holds the elections, they will outvote him in half a year. Don’t even doubt it. I will not cling to power with blue fingers if you do not trust me anymore and if you show no trust in the government in general. We hold elections for ourselves. It is true, we are anxious about the way we will be perceived in the world,” the head of state said.
The President noted that no country pays much attention to the OSCE ODIHR recommendations, while Belarus treats them very seriously.
As far as amendments to the electoral legislation are concerned, this is done in steps. For example, there were proposals to introduce proportional representation for the parliamentary elections. “I strongly believe that the majoritarian system still works. Many have tried proportional representation to come back to the mixed electoral system and might later opt for the majoritarian system. If this matter is brought to public attention, they will support this point of view. We should leave it as it is. After all, it is democratic when all people can choose, and not on party lists,” the Belarusian leader said.
The President spoke against fake parties, including pro-government parties. He believes that parties should be formed on their own, without using money of various kinds of western foundations. “Let them establish political parties here. Let them earn public trust. This is our stance on that. I believe this is democratic. Party creation should be a genuine process,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
When asked how he will react if the West does not recognize the parliamentary elections again, the President said: “It is their right to do so. I will be very disappointed with their biased stance.”
“To be honest, [during the previous elections] I used to know beforehand what their findings would be. Now I do not know. They are closely following the elections to be able to substantiate their results. This is already progress that they have not come with a ready-made template alleging that the elections are bad and should not be recognized. The situation is different now. They have realized that Belarus is the center of Europe and there is no escaping this fact. It is important that it remains at peace and does not cause problems to anyone,” the Belarusian leader emphasized. “This is not about peacemaking. That was just a pretext to find a way out of that standoff. They needed to walk out of it and they had to find a pretext. Thank you, we are ready for cooperation,” the President added.