Meeting to discuss amendments to Constitution
The draft Constitution will be put up for public discussion in the coming days, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss amendments to the Constitution on 23 December.
According to the head of state, this is the final meeting of the working group before the publication of the draft Constitution. “We have one or two more days to correct mistakes, arrange everything and submit the current draft Constitution for public discussion,” the Belarusian leader said.
Before presenting the draft document to the general public, it will be once again discussed at the level of the working group and the Constitutional Commission. “Today we need to take a look at this draft document once again, read it together, especially its main provisions to rule out any flaws,” the president said. He stressed that the published draft will not be the final one. “It will be the final document when we have discussed the people's proposals on it,” the Belarusian leader explained.
“I do not exclude that after the public discussion of the draft Constitution we will meet again (to see what substantial, principal proposals will be made by the people) as part of this working group. We will also hold the final meeting of the Constitutional Commission. After the Constitutional Commission considers the results of the work of our working group and approves them, we will submit the draft Constitution to a referendum,” the president explained the details of the future work.
As for the deadlines, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that in late January-early February the draft Constitution is to be once again discussed after the public discussion, and in the second half of February the document is to be put up for a referendum. “This is the best time for holding a referendum. We do not distract people from work as it is winter and there is less work in small towns and villages, even in big cities,” the head of state commented on the date of the referendum.
“If people uphold the constitutional amendments, we, the incumbent authorities, including the president and the parliament and so on, will have to rebuild the system of government in the country to bring it in compliance with the new Constitution. That is the answer to questions about what will happen next and when, and whether there will be early election and so on. Having adopted the Constitution, we need to build an effective system of public administration, economic management, a political system, and adopt basic laws,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to him, after the system is rebuilt, the necessary amendments to legislation will be made and additional legal acts will be adopted; it will also be necessary to start a new cycle of election campaigns.
“Yet, we will discuss it one more time. If we hear some other reasonable proposals, we might take them on board. After all, it will entail significant changes, including in the system of government and public administration. This is a very serious matter at this time. If someone thinks that our actions will be haphazard and poorly planned, they are wrong. There will be no chaos and confusion. The decision will be made after the new Constitution is adopted; we will recalibrate the mechanisms of governing and then will start a new cycle of an election campaign. This means that we will build a new system of government for our people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.