Lukashenka Says Belarus Plans Constitutional Referendum By February 2022.

Belarus will hold a referendum on a new controversial constitution by February next year, authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka said.
Lukashenka made the announcement at a constitutional commission meeting on September 28, promising once again not to let the opposition come to power because they would “destroy the country.” “The changes are aimed at making the constitution more harmonized and balanced by redistributing the powers of the president, the parliament, and the government and establishing a constitutional status for the All-Belarus People's Assembly,” Lukashenka said. However, he did not provide details of the draft constitution or the role that the All-Belarus People's Assembly would assume. In its current form, the All-Belarus People's Assembly is a periodic gathering of loyalists that has no governing status under the laws. The country already has a rubber-stamp parliament. Lukashenka's opponents have called the attempt to rewrite the constitution a sham exercise to help him cling to power after the opposition rejected his victory in a presidential election in August 2020. Experts doubt that there will be real changes. “Lukashenka does not want to change the system. He intends for the regime to remain the same and that the current leaders will decide who is allowed power,” independent analyst Alyaksandr Klaskouski told RFE/RL’s Belarus Service.
“Naturally, only loyal supporters of the current government will be allowed to pass through this filter,” he added. Belarus was engulfed by protests last year after a presidential election the opposition and West say was rigged. In response, the government cracked down hard on the pro-democracy movement, arresting thousands of people and pushing most of the top opposition figures out of the country. Lukashenka, who has run the country since 1994, has denied any fraud in the election and refuses to negotiate with the opposition on a political transition and new elections. He has suggested in the past that he would be willing to step down only after changes to the constitution were made, but in recent months he stopped mentioning such a possibility. The European Union, the United States, and several countries have refused to recognize Lukashenka as the legitimate leader of Belarus and imposed several rounds of sanctions on him and other senior officials in response to the rigged vote and postelection crackdown.


With reporting by RFE/RL's Belarus Service, AP, dpa, and Reuters

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news
Germany Reports Huge Jump In Illegal Migrants Via 'Belarus Route'.

Germany Reports Huge Jump In Illegal Migrants Via 'Belarus Route'.

German authorities say the flow of migrants arriving via Poland and Belarus has spiked with more than 4,300 illegal entrants to the country since August, amid a long-running crisis in which the European Union has accused Minsk of "weaponizing" ref...

Radio Free Europe

Biden official on supply chain crunch: ‘Bumps along the way’ to reopen economy.

Biden official on supply chain crunch: ‘Bumps along the way’ to reopen economy.

ABC News’ Stephanie Ramos speaks with Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo on the Biden administration’s response to the supply chain crunch and rising prices. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ABC News Live Stream Here: SU...

3 37

John Deere workers on strike: ‘They can’t take our money’.

John Deere workers on strike: ‘They can’t take our money’.

ABC News’ Terry Moran reports on the ongoing strikes across America, with thousands of workers from John Deere, Warrior Met Coal, Kellogg and Kaiser Hospitals hitting the picket lines. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ABC New...

Podcast hosts speaks on importance of Latino representation.

Podcast hosts speaks on importance of Latino representation.

ABC’s Stephanie Ramos speaks with “Hyphenated” podcast hosts Joanna Hausmann and Jenny Lorenzo about Latino representation and the pressure of holding multiple ethnic identities. ABC News Live Prime, Weekdays at 7EST & 9EST WATCH the ABC News Live...

US Defense Secretary Heads to Eastern Europe, NATO Next Week.

US Defense Secretary Heads to Eastern Europe, NATO Next Week.

He’ll talk with allies concerned about Russia and what the NATO military alliance will focus on now that the withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete Originally published at -

Gutfeld: As long as you are woke you're immune from criticism.

Gutfeld: As long as you are woke you're immune from criticism.

'Gutfeld!' panel discusses statues taken down as crime goes up #FoxNews #Gutfeld Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking n...

Joe Rogan cancels the cancelers

Joe Rogan cancels the cancelers

Gutfeld!' panel discuss Rogan's calling out CNN for lying about his COVID treatment. #FoxNews #Gutfeld! Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news servic...