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Lukashenko returns draft amendments to Belarusian Constitution for refinement

The president pointed out that the referendum would be held no later than February

MINSK, July 30. /TASS/. The presented draft amendments to the Belarusian Constitution could not be called well-prepared and must be refined, President Alexander Lukashenko said Friday, according to BelTA.

"I’ve returned all this writing back to you [to the Constitutional Commission -TASS] today. Convene and try to bring it in conformity. And then we will sit down, you and I, and walk through every chapter, every clause. And then we will present it to the public discussion - let people read it. And we will hold a referendum no later than February," the head of state said during a meeting with regional officials.

Earlier, Lukashenko claimed that everyone who participated in the discussion of the amendments were heard.

"The proposed amendments to the basic law are the concept of Belarus’s future. The future that was discussed on dialogue venues, in civic associations, in labor and education collectives. Everyone who wanted to participate has been heard," he underscored.

On March 16, Lukashenko signed the order on establishment of the Constitutional Commission of 36 people, which works on development of amendments and addition to the basic law. The final proposal of this commission was published in July.

According to the document, a head of state will be directly and secretly elected for a five-year term, and "one person cannot serve as a president for more than two terms."

The document also proposes to strip the head of state of the right to issue decrees and cancel the government acts. It also provides an option to depose a president by the all-Belarusian National Assembly over treason or another grievous crime. If necessary, this body can decide on the legitimacy if elections, if necessary; it will also define the strategy of national development, and its decision are legally binding.