Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has congratulated the nation on the occasion of Constitution Day and pointed out that the main focus of the national basic law should be aspiration for public concord, the president’s office reported Monday.
The president underlined that the constitution adopted at the turn of centuries enshrined "the historic right of the Belarusian nation to live in a sovereign country and create a free and just society where the state guarantees social protection and equal opportunities for each person and each family." According to him, the main focus in achieving the established goals for Belarusians will be the constitutional provisions that "reflect the nation’s aspiration for solidarity, public concord and mutual understanding."
The independent Belarus adopted its constitution on March 15, 1994, it established the office of president as previously the country was a parliamentary republic. First amendments were introduced already in 1995 at the first national referendum. Following the vote, president’s powers were largely extended, the Russian language was granted a state status to match the Belarusian language, while the country was given a new flag and coat of arms. In 2004, the second referendum lifted the restriction on the number of terms in office that one person can hold consecutively, TASS reports.
Amid nationwide protests in Belarus that broke out following the presidential elections on August 9, Lukashenko again pointed out the need to change the constitution, noting his readiness to redistribute a part of presidential powers in favor of other branches. According to him, the draft of a new constitution will be ready this year and will be put up for public discussions in the beginning of 2022. The Belarusian opposition designed its own draft constitution which proposes changing the presidential system of government to a parliamentary one.