A new version of Belarus' Constitution has been drafted, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he reviewed preliminary results of the Constitutional Commission's work at its extended session on 28 September, BelTA has learned.
“Several months of hard work, heated debate and arguments are now over. A huge number of people, including public associations, responded to our call to take part in the development of the new version of the fundamental law. You had to study in detail all proposals and initiatives, analyze international practices of state building, examine modern trends in constitutional legislation. This is definitely a huge piece of work,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked all members of the commission for their responsible approach, dedication, sincerity and enthusiasm. “I closely followed the process, listened to your speeches in the media. In other words, I was involved in what was happening. We can say that we have come up with a new version of the draft Constitution,” the Belarusian leader said.
The president pointed to the comprehensive nature of the proposed amendments as they cover almost all sections of the Constitution. According to him, the amendments are aimed at bringing the country's fundamental law up to date.
The head of state highlighted the provisions that he particularly liked in the draft Constitution.
Aleksandr Lukashenko welcomed the proposal to spell out the values of the Belarusian society in the Constitution, including the preservation of the historical truth and memory of heroism of Belarusian people in the Great Patriotic War.
“In my opinion, this is absolutely right. It is patriotism and historical memory that make us truly one nation, a single nation. It will not hurt to formalize it in the Constitution, it will not run afoul of the norms and principles of law,” the president emphasized.
“I think it is right to retain inviolable constitutional principles aimed at ensuring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “They have helped us become a nation, a sovereign state that our people had dreamed about for centuries,” he added.
The president highlighted the proposal to stick to the current social policy and even noticeably enhance social security coverage. “I agree with this. This chimes in with the government policy supported by the majority of the country's population. Yet, we should not end up granting allowances and benefits for everything and everyone. This should never happen. Social security is not about granting more benefits,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the new Constitution should create a more enabling environment for self-fulfillment. “Our people (most of them but not all) rely on the government too much and believe that the government should do everything - from repairing fences to building housing,” the president said. He believes that the situation should gradually change in the future.
“I am convinced that Belarusians will welcome the Commission's proposals on formalizing guarantees of retirement benefits, support for families with children, the value of family and marriage, equal opportunities for persons with disabilities,” the Belarusian leader said.
According to the head of state, one of the most important proposals of the Constitutional Commission deals with the political system and is aimed at making it more balanced by redistributing powers of the president, parliament and government, introducing the constitutional status of the Belarusian People's Congress and the Central Election Commission.
“It was also proposed to expand guarantees of judicial protection of citizens' rights. Almost everything that we had talked about long before the Constitutional Commission started working has been addressed,” the Belarusian leader said.