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24 Apr 2018

Lukashenko: Belarus in no mood for constitutional referendums

MINSK, 24 April (BelTA) – Belarus is in no mood for referendums, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said in his State of the Nation Address on 24 April when commenting on the possible changes in the Constitution, BelTA has learned.

The possible amendments in the Constitution are constantly being discussed by the media. “Some hotheads even claim the president will schedule a referendum to change the fundamental law the other day. I have always been honest with our people. I will never do this. I know where I came from and how I won the presidential election. I promise I will never break my vow, whatever it takes. Otherwise, things will be like in Armenia yesterday,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

“The people must not be toyed with,” he added and underlined that the decision to hold a referendum, if taken, will be announced beforehand in line with the law. “Personally, I have not thought about any referendum so far. We are in no mood for referendums. We need to stand our ground in today’s chaotic, messy and dangerous situation in the world,” the president highlighted.

Those calling for amendments to the Constitution do not say what exactly they want, he stressed. “For them, the most important thing is to set the process in motion. They will not be responsible for the consequences of a constitutional referendum and changes in the Constitution,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked. “They probably do not event want to take power into their own hands because they do not know what to do with it. This is why we need to stop the fuss about the referendum and tomorrow’s changes in the Constitution,” he added.

The president has already expressed his opinion on this matter as he met with the judiciaries. It was said at the meeting that a relevant decision will be taken in Belarus in the future. The head of state said that lawmaking is a dynamic process, just like life. The Constitution will be improved in this regard just like any other law.

Since it was adopted, many things have changed in the country. Alexander Lukashenko cited the judicial reform of 2013 as an example. The reform liquidated the Supreme Economic Court which is, however, still mentioned in the Constitution. “New state institutions have been established. The economic relations have moved to another level. Much of what has been done must now be reflected in the Constitution. Its norms should not only correspond with the reality. They should be a little bit ahead of it and have a vision for the future,” the president said.

He recalled about the presidential powers, some of which can be easily delegated to other branches of government. “I do not need to hold on tight to them. Others can execute them, too. The president will have other troubles and problems,” he added. Possible changes in the Constitution will by no means lay a foundation for the Maidan in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko warned. “This will not happen while I am the president,” he summarized.

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