On Constitution Day: Lukashenka announces amendments to Fundamental Law

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has again admitted the possibility of amending the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.

However, at Thursday’s meeting with judges of the Constitutional Court, he failed to specify what amendments might be made to the Fundamental Law.

According to him, law making is a ‘continuous process’ and ‘living organism’ which should be improved to keep up with the ‘pace of life’.

He recalled that over the recent years a number of laws on high tech, economic relations, local authorities, etc had been adopted. In his opinion, it should be taken into account when improving the constitution.

“Life goes on, and you see that our generation has already made big progress. When we started at the dawn of our independence we could not imagine what problems we would face, we could not imagine that the economy will become so IT-oriented, and that all nations will start looking for a place under the sun there <…> the society is changing, and we are changing. Of course, the Constitution should be the headliner of the changes in our society. Therefore, as I have already said, we need to focus on amending and improving the norms of the Constitution,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.

In 2016, Alyaksandr Lukashenka raised the question of constitutional reform for the first time. In January 2018, Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, said that he Belarusian Electoral Code might be amended during the ‘modernization of the Constitution’. According to her, the president stressed the need to ‘keep the Constitution current’.

24 years ago, on 15 March 1994, the first-ever Constitution of independent Belarus was adopted. But it should be noted that in the 1996 referendum, the majority of voters approved of constitutional amendments put forward by Alyaksandr Lukashenka, which dramatically increased the president’s power. Among other things, these amendments gave Lukashenka’s decrees the force of law, gave him near-total control over the budget and extended his term to 2001.