On Tuesday, Alyaksandr Lukashenka made a working trip to Minsk region and visited a district hospital in the town of Stoubtsy.
Meeting with the health workers, he suggested that the Belarusian People’s Congress should be turned into a constitutional body that would ‘supervise’ the main areas of the country’s development.
Initiated by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in 1996, the Belarusian People’s Congress takes place every five years. It is attended by specially selected (or appointed) representatives of labour collectives, local authorutues, state-controlled public associations and political parties, etc.
“If we remove some presidential responsibilities, we have to transfer them somewhere. These powers are not suitable for the government and parliament. Who do we vest them with? We have to look for such a body. We have the Belarusian People’s Congress. Therefore, some powers will have to be transferred,” the press service quotes Lukashenka.
The politician expects that would-be Congress delegates elected for a five-year term will work on a voluntary basis.
The 2021 Congress will be held in late January – early February. Among others, the issues of politics and further economic development, including the goals for five years ahead, are to be raised at the event, he said.
Lukashenka announced amendments to the Constitution of Belarus at the beginning of 2019. His might-have-been election opponent Viktar Babaryka (who has been in the KGB prison since mid June) called for a referendum on the return of the 1994 Constitution.
During his October’s visit to Minsk, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Head Sergei Naryshkin spoke about the protests in Belarus, claiming that the protesters are trying to change the government by unconstitutional methods. In turn, Lukashenka stated that he managed to find a compromise with the opposition on this issue: according to him, the new version of the Basic Law will be put to a referendum. However, the protests have been underway for four months, and the Belarusian opposition and demonstrators do not seem to be compromisable.
In early December, Belarusian opposition leader and Lukashenka’s strongest election rival Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya expressed her readiness to lead Belarus during a transition period. Her team developed a concept for the new elections; programs of economic support and a draft for the constitutional reform to be held after Lukashenka resigns, she added.