On December 6, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has held a meeting with the members of the 6th and 7th Belarusian parliament.
“The recent parliamentary elections were taking place in an open competitive climate. There were even more parliamentary contenders than during the previous campaign,” he said.
Interestingly, Lukashenka recalled the story of his ‘forming’ the parliament, saying he did not want the deputies to have the right to impeach the president.
“In accordance with the Constitution, I was responsible for the branches of power, and I was to be in charge of the formation of our parliament. And of course, I was nervous about our parliament’s ability to effectively work. I was loathe to experience what it was in the mid 90s again. That is why I said this before the election: ‘we are going to support sound people’,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Lukashenka’s wording ‘formation of the parliament’ may sound ambiguous to those remembering the notorious referendum of November 24, 1996 held on his initiative. It rounded into making amendments to the Constitution, which, among other things, extended the then presidential term of Lukashenka for two and a half years. After the referendum, Alyaksandr Lukashenka disbanded the Supreme Soviet – the then Belarusian parliament – and established the rubber-stamping National Assembly, received the authority to hold referendums and appoint top officials. His decrees and orders became stronger than laws. In 2004, with the help of another referendum, the head of state made possible his running for the third and even following presidential terms.