A new draft constitution of Belarus may be ready by the end of 2021, and people will decide its fate in a referendum. Alexander Lukashenko said this in an interview with controversial Russian state TV journalist Nailya Asker-Zade.
Content of the amendments is a mystery
Speaking about the plans to amend the basic law at the upcoming Belarusian People’s Congress in February, Lukashenko stated that “there is a chance the amendments to the Constitution will be outlined if the delegates are ready to do this, while their introduction will be made exclusively at the referendum”. The date of the referendum will be also announced at the Belarusian People’s Congress.
“I think that we will be able to draft a new Constitution within a year,” Lukashenko continued. “And I believe that the draft of the new Constitution will be ready by the end of next year. And then people will decide in a referendum whether there will be a new Constitution or not. “
However, he refused to “open the veil of secrecy” on what amendments may be introduced into the Constitution. “No, I cannot tell you that now, the proposals had not been fully formulated yet,” he said. Lukashenko mentioned the need to redistribute powers, party construction, and political affairs. “As to the economy, we will suggest remaining a people-centred state.”
Like a hamster in a wheel
When asked whether he was tired of being the country’s leader for 26 years, Lukashenko said that he has no time to think about some fatigue.
“The man gets used to everything. The president is like a squirrel in a wheel. It is impossible to stop. The wheel is spinning, so you run and run, and run. Probably, as people say, you won’t stop until you croak. This is why you get used to it, and you don’t have a feeling ‘Oh, I’m tired, I don’t want to do that anymore, so I quit, and so on’. This might be true it if you think about it. But I don’t think about it,” he said.
However, he admitted that he does not like long business trips. “Let’s say, if you fly to China, it’s far away. I can hardly bear it,” he explained. Lukashenko shared that the president’s working day has no beginning and no end.
“The working day of the president has no beginning <…> and there is no end to it. It really is, I’m not kidding. Because sometimes it happens that you have to work round the clock in very intense periods. Honestly, there are not so many of them in the presidential life,” he added.
During the interview, Alexander Lukashenko answered a series of questions ranging from rather serious to the personal. He can be spotted in different locations: got behind the wheel of a presidential Mercedes, on an ice rink, in the Palace of Independence, over pancakes at home. Besides, Nailya Asker-Zade managed to talk Alexander Lukashenko’s youngest son Nikolai, whom she described as an unspoilt, humble, thinking young man.