The Constitution of People's Distrust
Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko said that a referendum on a new constitution for the republic should take place in February 2022. Lukashenko also did not rule out early presidential elections, which he can take part in. he himself. However, the draft constitution itself has not yet been published and they plan to do so by the New Year. We found out how realistic Lukashenko's plan is and what the consequences can be.
Photo: president.gov.by According to the Belarusian politician, the publication of the draft constitution can take from two weeks to one month. The document will be submitted to a referendum in 2022 if, as Lukashenko said, “the war will not begin.”
Lukashenko says the new constitution will strengthen the position of parliament and government, and a new institution will be prescribed in the basic law – the All-Belarusian People's Assembly. But a strong presidential power will remain in the country, the current head of Belarus assures. Moreover, he himself has not yet decided whether to be re-elected president, but he certainly knows that he is not going out of big politics.
Following the adoption of the new constitution, the media often designate the post of chairman of the All-Belarusian People's Assembly (VNS) as one of Lukashenko's likely offices. You do not have to go through universal direct and secret ballot to take this position. All you have to do is vote for the pre-selected representatives of the largest trade unions, social movements, parliament and government in the country. At the same time, under the new constitution, the SNR is expected to be able to dismiss judges, prosecute the president, set key foreign and domestic policy guidelines, and overturn other authorities' decisions if they conflict with the country's “national interests.”
Experts interviewed by the Ministry of Culture believe that the enormous breadth of the powers of the VNS has become an obstacle to a general debate on the future constitution.
Former presidential candidate Tatiana Korotkevich said “MK” that the topic of constitutional reform is discussed only on television, while in society the mood itself does not want to vote at all. “It was originally assumed that in the new constitution, the powers of the president would be redistributed in favor of parliament and government, but this did not happen. Instead, it seeks to divide powers between the president and the SNC, which will consist of 3,000 people and take over the functions of the legislative and executive branches of government. Nobody knows how it will work, “says Korotkevich.
The main disappointment of the Belarusians, however, according to the former presidential candidate, was that the referendum on the constitution would not become a referendum on keeping Lukashenko in power. In any case, he intends to stay in politics, which completely devalues the vote.
“So far, we know only the approximate date of the referendum – February 20, 2022. From a purely technical point of view, this is possible, because according to the rules, a month should be set aside to discuss the bill. We don't know anything else yet, this creates a completely absurd situation. Many Belarusians do not even understand why this referendum is needed and do not want to participate, although the state media say that 70-80% of citizens are ready to vote for a new constitution. Even though no one has seen her yet, “ said Belarusian political scientist Valery Karbalevich .
According to the expert, there can be two reasons why the draft Constitution is constantly being postponed. “First, the Kremlin may be dissatisfied with the new constitution and Lukashenko is forced to reckon with the position of Russia, which is actually its only ally. Maybe he specifically decided to declare Crimea to appease Moscow, says Karbalevich. “Second, Lukashenko may not have decided for himself until he was in the new constitution. On the one hand, he wants to lead the VNS, take the presidential powers with him, but at the same time he does not want to weaken the presidential power. It is very difficult to get out of this mutually exclusive dilemma. “
Another Belarusian political scientist Dmitry Bolkunets He recalled that the issue of the referendum in Belarus had been debated for a long time, but became most acute after the mass protests began in August 2022. . Lukashenko either does not see the political crisis or does not want to notice it, “said Bolkunets MK.
The political scientist noted that after the adoption of the new constitution, Lukashenko can arrange early presidential elections and he himself will go to the ANC, where he will have even greater powers than in the previous post. In this sense, the Belarusians may have short relief and even hope for reforms, but they will not last long.
“If Lukashenko becomes king, a dangerous situation of dual power could arise in Belarus,” he warns. Bolkunets. In addition, he assumes that pro-government experts and officials think so, and therefore they are delaying the creation of a new constitution. “Lukashenko wants to create a regime that combines the features of the DPRK and Iran. Nobody knows how to do it so that the state does not collapse, “says Bolkunets.