23 Dec 2021 11:32

Belarus to hold constitutional referendum in Feb - Lukashenko

MINSK. Dec 23 (Interfax) - Belarus will hold a referendum on an updated edition of the constitution in the second half of February, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with members of the commission and the working group elaborating constitutional amendments in Minsk on Thursday.

"The referendum will be held in the second half of February," the First Man's Pool Telegram channel close to the presidential administration said.

"Once the draft constitution is discussed, we will convene another meeting of the working group (to see what essential proposals have been made by the people). The final meeting will be held at the constitutional commission. A draft constitution will be put to referendum after the draft is ready and results of the activity of our working group are discussed and approved by the constitutional commission," Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko said at a meeting of the all-Belarusian People's Assembly that a new edition of the constitution would be drafted within a year and might be put to referendum early next year.

Lukashenko signed an order that established the constitutional commission in the middle of March in furtherance of the resolution of the all-Belarusian People's Assembly. The commission was tasked with drafting proposals on constitutional amendments and arranging their universal discussion.

The constitutional commission held its first meeting on March 31. The commission has 36 members led by Belarusian Constitutional Court Chairman, Merited Jurist Pyotr Miklashevich.

It was reported earlier that the draft of the new edition of the constitution would be published before the New Year and the referendum would be held by the end of February 2022.

The Belarusian opposition prepared its own draft of the constitution that declares Belarus a parliamentary republic.