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New Constitution draft presented to Lukashenko

12:28, 4 November

At the meeting with the working group to finalize the Constitution draft on 4 November, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said that a new Constitution draft was submitted to him, BelTA has learned.

“The Constitutional Commission has done some work, put forward their own proposals, and now a group of experts is polishing this Constitution. To put it simply, this group is formulating this Constitution in line with legal parlance. I have received the latest version of the Constitution that takes into account our latest arrangements, I have studied it. Today we will try to raise the most pressing issues,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that he would also like to learn the reasons for the deletion of some articles and the addition of new provisions.

The working group was supposed to work through the fundamental issues related to the constitutional amendments. The most important of them are the formalization of the role of the Belarusian People's Congress, the redistribution of powers between government agencies, and the preservation of the balance of power. Aleksandr Lukashenko strongly warned against destroying the existing system of government in Belarus.

“We approached this issue seriously and worked out a Constitution draft that we will discuss now and the work on which will continue. I think that the working group might need one more meeting, and after that, as promised, we will submit the draft to the Constitutional Commission,” the head of state noted. After that, a public discussion of the draft fundamental law will take place, and the final version of the Constitution will be submitted to a nationwide referendum.

The president noted that the experts of the working group supported not all the proposals of the Constitutional Commission. “It is good to have different points of view. Probably, when there is competition, when several legitimate points of view clash, this helps develop reasonable constitutional provisions. I believe that this is the only way to arrive at a decent Constitution draft that people are looking forward to,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

At the same time, the head of state emphasized that the work on updating the Constitution is done in the interests of the majority of people and for them. “All citizens of Belarus and those who will come to Belarus will have to comply with this fundamental law. A law is a law,” he said.

The head of the working group, Head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Sergeyenko noted that the new fine-tuned Constitution draft presented to the head of state is “the result of thorough, painstaking discussion”. “This draft was developed by the Constitutional Commission. We scrutinized each article of the draft. And even after it was submitted to you, the working group continues actively discussing it, and some additions and clarifications are still being made,” Igor Sergeyenko said.

A reminder, Aleksandr Lukashenko held the first meeting with the working group to finalize the Constitution draft on 21 October. The working group comprised Head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Sergeyenko, Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic Natalya Kochanova and representatives of both chambers of the parliament, Deputy State Secretary of the Security Council Aleksandr Rakhmanov, Head of the Council of Ministers Office Konstantin Burak, Deputy Chairperson of the Constitutional Court Natalya Karpovich and judge Olga Sergeyeva, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus Mikhail Orda, Presidential Aide Aleksandr Kosinets and Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor Aleksandr Radkov.

“The main thing in the work of this group is to prevent the loss of balance in the system of government. It is important to avoid the overlapping of functions and authorities of key government agencies and to ensure the coherence of their work,” said the Belarusian leader at the meeting.

“I strongly believe that Belarus should be a presidential republic if we want to retain the country. And the Belarusian People's Congress is being involved not because someone in attendance or the incumbent president is craving to lead it, but in order to maintain the system of checks and balances,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said back then.

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