Head of state holds meeting with Vladimir Andreichenko

    Continuity should be preserved in the parliament of the new convocation in Belarus, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly Vladimir Andreichenko on 10 February.

    The head of state noted that about 20-25% of MPs of the previous convocation are traditionally elected to the new parliament. “We need to have about a quarter of MPs of the old convocation to preserve continuity. However, these MPs should have a perfect reputation among voters. People will be more demanding towards them. Therefore continuity is crucial,” the President said.

    “Second, despite our democracy efforts, I think you will have to take part in the organization of the election campaign personally. Maybe, even the Council of the House of Representatives will also help the Central Election Commission to hold the parliamentary election. After all, MPs are representatives of our voters, and hardly anyone will mind if they will help carry out the election campaign in a decent and democratic way. We need to consider it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

    “Third, as the mandate of the current convocation is coming to an end soon, the government together with chairmen of commissions, and the council need to identify priority issues that should be settled before the new parliamentary election campaign begins. It is very important. Just like a number of other issues the parliament will have to deal with during these last months,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko recommended MPs to interact closely with people. “The economic situation is getting better. However, the recovery is not smooth. Like I said at a meeting yesterday, at some places the salary makes $800-900, somewhere it is below $200. In 1-1.5 years household incomes in Belarus should be as big as before the crisis or even bigger in order to show people that what we say is not just idle talk. We need to keep our promises. I would like MPs to ramp up their efforts. We need to prepare people for the parliamentary election, and MPs need to do that in their constituencies,” the President said.

    "The administration and the government need to tackle most sensitive issues, so that MPs will be able to deliver the President’s point to ordinary people. We need to get a feedback on a number of issues that we need to deal with and settle in the run-up to the parliamentary election. This will be kind of test for the government. We need to fix these issues beforehand, so that people will not criticize us at the parliamentary election and the fifth column in Belarus and especially in the West will not question the new composition of the parliament,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “I am convinced that the parliament will be the reflection of people’s choice. Not talkers but people who are ready to make things happen will get the seats. You need to identify these issues together with MPs. Let it be 50, 70 or 100 points, but for us this will be a program for the parliamentary election. Some issues might be left for the future,” the head of state added.

    Vladimir Andreichenko said that MPs are focused on quality and timeframe of lawmaking activities. During the previous session the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Fourth Convocation adopted more than 100 laws. Belarusian MPs worked successfully on the international scene. Thus, in September last year, the Parliament of Belarus received an observer status in the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, continued productive contacts with the People’s Republic of China. Belarus played host to a meeting of the Council of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly.

    The MPs worked actively in their constituencies, met with citizens, examined their appeals and complaints.

    The next, tenth session will open on 2 April. Commissions of the House of Representatives are currently considering more than 50 draft laws, including a new version of the Housing Code, several economic draft laws. As for international activities, the Parliament will be working to obtain an observer status at the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference in 2012.

    The President emphasized the need for more effective monitoring of draft laws, more frequent meetings with voters and labor collectives. There is a need to involve scientists, businesses, professionals in law-making efforts.

    The meeting also discussed the harmonization of the national legislation with that of the Single Economic Space. The President also noted that when on trips abroad parliamentary delegations need to discuss not only parliament matters but also foreign trade activities, cultural ties, cooperation in health, education, sport and tourism.