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Lukashenko says Belarusian government system should not be tied to president

Earlier, Lukashenko expressed readiness to hand over some of the presidential duties, but only on condition of a constitutional reform
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko
© Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP

MINSK, August 31. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has admitted that the current public system in the country is of an authoritarian nature, adding that it is necessary to build a system that would not be tied to the president, BelTA news agency informs, quoting Lukashenko’s statement made on the outcomes of the meeting with head of the republic’s Supreme Court Valentin Sukalo.

"I believe that although we have a bit of an authoritarian system in the public life, nevertheless, the president protects and preserves courts. But it is a personal thing while we have to make the system work regardless of personalities, including Lukashenko. This is why I think in the new Constitution we have to properly reflect the system of our courts resulting from the experience of our work over the last quarter of the century. But in a responsible manner: if you submit a proposal, sign it," Lukashenko stated, quoted by the agency.

Earlier, Lukashenko had expressed readiness to hand over some of the presidential duties but only on the condition of a constitutional reform. He said that a new election in the republic can only take place after the new Constitution is approved.

Updated version of Constitution

The work on an updated version of the Constitution of Belarus is underway for it to be put up for public discussion, the Belarusian president said on Monday during a working meeting with head of the republic’s Supreme Court Valentin Sukalo as cited by BelTA.

Lukashenko informed that specialists in Belarus, including judges of the Constitutional Court, are currently working on amendments to the country’s Constitution, after which the document will be put up for public discussion. "The document will be put forward for the public to discuss it and express their opinion. I would like to stress that everyone, especially those demanding those changes, should understand that every voter, including farmers, workers, teachers, physicians, specialists and those who have come of age and gather in the streets of peaceful, clean and cozy Minsk today, has one vote at the referendum on the Constitution," Lukashenko said, quoted by BelTA agency.

The Belarusian president added that the choice of underage citizens, some of whom have also attended opposition rallies, cannot be taken into account, although they have the right to express their opinion.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled out the possibility of going back to the 1994 version of the Belarusian Constitution. "The return, as some say, to the Constitution of 1994 is something that we have not just passed or lived through. We have absorbed it. We saw what was happening then. The return is probably a change, but it is not a movement forward. I would like to see these changes move our society forward. We will insist on such changes and offer them to our people," Lukashenko said, quoted by the agency.

Belarus held its presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s data, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko received 80.1% of the vote, while Svetlana Tikhanovskaya garnered 10.12%. She is currently in Lithuania. Protests erupted in the country's capital of Minsk and several other cities following the presidential vote, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers.