Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Lukashenka: Electoral changes should be in the interests of the Belarusian people

Tanya KOROVENKOVA, naviny.by

Amendments to electoral regulations should be well-considered and in the interests of the Belarusian people, not just for the sake of competition with other countries, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Tuesday, speaking at a government meeting.

"As we agreed in January, we are meeting once again to discuss measures to improve electoral regulation," the Belarusian leader said, according to the governments news agency BelTA. "I believe todays discussion will be final before the bill is submitted to the parliament."

According to Mr. Lukashenka, the bill reflects the proposals for "optimizing the election process" that were approved at the January meeting.

"Since the bill touches on matters very important for the election system, the decision on the need to submit it to the House of Representatives in the proposed version should be the most well-thought-out," he said.

It is necessary to take into account all possible consequences of the proposed measures and to clearly understand the mechanism for their implementation, Mr. Lukashenka suggested. "If we are going to loosen something, we should be sure that it will not negatively affect stability in the country and the controllability of the situation during elections," he said, stressing that the possibility of lawlessness and a lack of control should be excluded.

"I know that not everyone approves of certain provisions in the bill," Mr. Lukashenka said. According to him, there are objections to the amendment that would change the procedure of financing candidates campaigns and, in particular, increase the possible size of candidates campaign funds and allow presidential contenders to establish campaign funds before they are registered as candidates.

"We have gathered today in order to make balanced decisions that would fully meet the interests of the Belarusian state," Mr. Lukashenka said. "We should not compete with other in a race and go ahead of the times. Lets try to keep up with development and, particularly, with the maturity of our society. And lets resolve the issues that require immediate attention and not invent some new ones, referring to new democratic or old democratic states and procedures."

"We live in our own country and if there is a problem, we should try to find a solution, and if there is no problem, we should not create this problem," Mr. Lukashenka said.

"Elections and other campaigns are held in Belarus for the Belarusian people and in the name of the people,"
he said. "And it is up to the Belarusian people to solve the problems that we will discuss today. We should do everything as the people who live in our country wish today. This is the most important thing." //BelaPAN