Session to discuss topical domestic policy matters

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The presidential election in Belarus should be prepared and held in an open, honest, calm manner and in strict compliance with the Belarusian legislation and the international commitments Belarus has undertaken. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the government conference held on 23 June to discuss topical domestic policy matters.

The head of state reminded that the Central Commission on Elections and Republican Referendums had suggested 11 October 2015 as the date for holding the presidential election. “I believe that the parliament will back the Commission’s proposal and the election will be held on 11 October,” noted the Belarusian leader.

In response to remarks and criticism voiced by the government’s opposition regarding the idea of holding the presidential election one month earlier, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “What do you mean earlier? Only the parliament has the right to choose the date. As far as I understand the parliament has never mentioned any date. The Central Election Commission has only mentioned the deadline for holding the presidential election,” noted the head of state.

“And today we assume that the presidential election will be held on 11 October if the parliament decides so,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“I am told that members of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly will discuss the matter at the session on 30 June and will make the final decision regarding the date of the event,” said the President. He added that now is the time to take care of preparations for the election.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that election campaigns of any level are very important as a way for the nation to express its will. “A presidential election is the key public and political event for any country, particularly our country where presidential powers are vast,” noted the Belarusian leader. “By casting their votes in favor of this or that candidate Belarus citizens determine the fate of the country, determine where and how we will move on, what way of development we choose for that.”

The head of state said he believes that the forthcoming presidential election will be kind of an exam for all the government agencies. “It will be an exam before the people, before those, who have entrusted us with the destiny of Belarus,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. In his words, results of the election will demonstrate the nation’s attitude towards the government’s work and will also become the foundation for the country’s future development strategy.

“It is a most important political event. We should enable top-notch organization of the event. I would like to stress that we have never had such opportunities for holding elections at a level that prevents anyone from even reproaching us and arguing some problems and issues,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that in accordance with the legislation the Central Election Commission (CEC) will play the key role in the election campaign’s organization. “As soon as the [date of the] presidential election is announced, the CEC will be the only agency in the country in charge of organizing and holding the election campaign. All the other entities, including me, will take part in the campaign only because the CEC demands it. Any statements and initiatives have to be authorized by the CEC head,” stressed the President. At the same time municipal government agencies will have to take an active part in the resolution of economic and organizational problems.

“We have to accomplish serious and responsible tasks. We have to prepare and hold the presidential election openly, honestly, calmly, and, most importantly, in strict compliance with Belarusian legislation and the international commitments we have undertaken,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The President stressed that nobody in the country will be forbidden from monitoring the election. Neither domestic observers nor foreign ones will be forbidden to do so. “They may watch and make relevant conclusions,” he said.

“Political stability, peace and concord are fundamental elements in the consistent social and economic development of the country. Peace and stability are far more important than any election campaign, any presidential, parliamentary and other types of elections,” the President stressed.

In his words, primary concern is placed into the need to ensure security due to the recent developments taking place on the international arena and directly at the borders of Belarus. In this respect the President stressed that all government authorities should secure accurate and smooth-running operation of the state machine, tough executive discipline, maximally concerted efforts of the authorities and law enforcers.

“I would like to warn against any mindless and unnecessary initiatives. You should act preventively,” the head of state said. “We must not allow even the smallest destabilization of the situation in the country,” the President stressed.

“I would like to reiterate: we are going to pass an exam. In order to pass it well, we have to work hard,” the Belarusian leader said.

The President said that close attention should be paid to population employment, the payment of salaries, and stable prices.

“We have stated sincerely and honestly that we are not going to inflate salaries by printing money or spending gold and foreign exchange reserves or other ones. But since we cannot raise salaries, the prices should be suitably matched. The matter is in our hands,” stressed the head of state.

“Care for people has always been and will remain the core part of our policy. No enterprise, no country is worth anything if it cannot enable proper living standards for common people,” stressed the President.

“God forbid if enterprises don’t work at full capacity by late August – early September and not for the sake of increasing stock in storage! We don’t want merchandise stored in warehouses! People have to have a job. People have to have confidence in the future. It is the key matter for the government. Once we deal with that, the election will not be a problem,” said the head of state.

“Economy and the operation of the economic system of the state are the key matters. This criterion will be used to judge our work in the pre-election period,” noted the President.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Central Election Commission and other stakeholders should take all due measures to organization the election on the highest and most decent level with a detailed elaboration of all aspects, including public information and creation of equal conditions for candidates.

Addressing participants of the conference, Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested discussing the issues that have to be resolved before the start and during the election campaign.

In particular, he was informed about funding volumes, the organization of public events in the period and the safety of people, the formation of election commissions, the transparency of the voting process, vote count, and which international observers will be invited.