Lukashenko announces plans for Belarus to hold constitutional referendum in 2022
A draft of a new constitution for Belarus will be ready in 2021 and it will be the subject of a national referendum early next year, announced President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) at the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly in Minsk on Wednesday, February 11.
According to Lukashenko, the new constitution will require “reformatting many laws and changing the legislative base.” He also mentioned that plans for redistributing authority within the vertical of power are already “on the table.”
“The constitution must be changed, because the powers that the head of state has today are very difficult for a person,” Lukashenko said.
In addition, Lukashenko outlined the main conditions for his departure from office: “Peace in the country, order, no protest actions, not turning the country upside down, and expressing opinions within the framework of the law. The second condition: if it turns out that the wrong ones come to power, and they will have different views, the second point we’re going to write is that not a single hair from you, the supporters of the current president, can be [touched]. As such, I have proposed making the All-Belarusian People Assembly a constitutional body…It should be a stabilizer for the transition period.”
During the Belarusian presidential election in August 2020, election officials declared a sixth consecutive victory for Alexander Lukashenko — who has been in power since 1994. His main opponent, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svitlana Tsikhanouskaya) refused to recognize the results of the vote due to allegations of widespread fraud; many Western countries followed suit. The contested vote sparked a wave of mass protests in Belarus that have continued periodically for the past six months.