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Friday, April 20, 2018

Why batko Lukashenko demanded to change the Constitution

Batka Lukashenko has stirred the calm waters of the Belarusian public opinion, making a recently alarming statement: “the World is changing rapidly. We must adapt to changing conditions in order not to lose the niche occupied by us, but also to find new ones.” And he said it is about making possible changes to the Constitution and the holding of this referendum. And last month the President of Belarus for the second time hinted that the Constitution needs to change. And the head of the CEC Lidziya Yarmoshyna has announced that a referendum on the matter can be arranged for 70 days. However, the head of state so still not explained what kind of changes can appear in the basic law and what questions can be put to a referendum.

“Historical experience,” tells Belarusians anything life-affirming from these changes should not wait. Batka Lukashenko during his reign, has twice changed the Constitution through a referendum. For the first time, in 1996, it has redistributed power within the country so that all power was concentrated in his hands. Second, in 2004, the Constitution disappeared a provision limiting the right of one person to be elected President more than two terms. And thus, Lukashenka received the right to be elected indefinitely. To appear in the basic law after the next referendum, even in a head does not come to many. Well, except that will be assigned to the establishment of the monarchy in the country. However, some believe that the old Man, by contrast, wants to share power with the deputies or to cancel the nationwide presidential elections, replacing them with purpose through Parliament…

Because clear answers does not give power, some opposition members decided to make a reconnaissance. On Wednesday the constitutional court with questions about the upcoming referendum, came the leaders of the civil campaign “Tell the truth” — ex-presidential candidate Tatsyana Karatkevich, Andrei Dmitriev. Chairman of the constitutional court Pyotr Miklashevich took them and had with them a long conversation. What was the conversation, “MK” has found out from a direct participant in the meeting.

Andrei Dmitriyev, the leader of the public organization “Tell the truth”:

— While Lukashenko himself says that it isn’t fast. But we already have such experience, as, for example, raising the retirement age when he said: “not soon, not soon,” and then it happened. Plus recently the Chairman of the Central election Commission declared that the referendum can be arranged for 70 days. So we met with the head of the constitutional court Pyotr Miklashevich said that if you do a referendum it is necessary to arrange a serious discussion of his agenda and spend it, say, a year. Should be requests that are important to people because there is a feeling that it will not be a popular referendum and the nomenclature that will further Rob people of the opportunity to participate in the political process. We were told that the training is at the initial stage — collect opinions and international experience. Miklashevich was the most vague, not to say anything important. And in the end said that it would be nice if it was a compromise of political forces in the country.

Among the issues that can be addressed in a referendum and enshrined in the Constitution: introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty, but only to this referendum was pleasant to the West. Might jump on a majoritarian-proportional electoral system. Likely also questions about increasing the President’s term of office. Plus it can be changes to the Constitution that would strengthen Executive power in the direction of what we see today in China, where liberal economy, but a very tough political environment. In addition, it may be issues relevant to Lukashenka, namely the transformation of power after him — and he’d like to get some guarantee that it will happen as he sees it. The mood in society today is negative, because the conditions of life are deteriorating, the economy sags. I think that any similar issues people will only anger — and this option may become a very serious contribution to the destabilization of the situation in the country. When people have $ 200 salary, and telling them to vote for strengthening the government — it may have too negative consequences. And, of course, a referendum is needed. But it needs to be about what today people think: about the possibility of getting affordable health care and education, that it is necessary to choose city mayors to back a limit of presidential terms… Another thing is that it is hardly interesting power.

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