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27 Nov, 2020 15:26

Lukashenko drops bombshell by announcing intention to leave Belarusian presidency once new constitution is adopted

Lukashenko drops bombshell by announcing intention to leave Belarusian presidency once new constitution is adopted

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko will not be president of the country under a new constitution, he said in a surprise statement Friday. The news comes a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a visit to Minsk.

In August, Lukashenko admitted that the country has a “somewhat authoritarian system,” announcing his intention to move the country away from reliance on a head of state, to “make sure that the system is not tied to an individual.” At the time, many people saw his suggestion as a tactic to quell protests, just three weeks after the country's presidential election. The long-time leader has been in the same post since 1994.

Since these comments, he also reaffirmed his commitment to reform when speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called it “logical, timely and appropriate.”

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But, now, Lukashenko has revealed that he will leave his post once a new constitution is adopted.

“I don't make any constitution for myself. With the new constitution, I will not work with you as president,” Lukashenko said, during a meeting with the staff of a Minsk clinical hospital. “Even if I know it won't be what I want. Why? Because the Belarusian people have to go through what they must go through.”

According to Lukashenko, the current document “cannot be given to an unknown president,” as it would be a “disaster.”

The president previously revealed that a new Belarusian constitution is currently on its third draft, and will be submitted for public discussion in early 2021. The first two versions were “too soft,” he claimed.

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“We will adopt the new constitution. We will move forward. This will be done without any destructive reforms and upheavals. Belarusians do not need them,” Lukashenko said, three weeks ago.

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