/ News

Supreme Court judge invited to help work out new Belarusian Constitution

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Supreme Court Valentin Sukalo on 31 August, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted he would like to discuss tactical and strategic topics in the work of courts. “If we talk about tactics, I would like to discuss specific things, problems, including criminal cases, which are on the president's radar. As for the strategy, there has been a lot of talk lately that we have to somehow remodel our public and political system, change the situation in the country. Changes, changes… Truth be told, nobody says what kind of changes they want. But I know very well who wants changes and what kind. This is why you and I are going to discuss it. Life has to always change,” he explained.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that work is in progress on the third version of the Constitution of Belarus. He asked Valentin Sukalo to get involved in the work. “I would like you to have a say in the matter as an experienced man,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “As for the courts, many people – including representatives of the court system – want some kind of independence. Although I am ready to argue with anyone that Belarusian courts are the most independent ones. Nobody should laugh at it. You know how I protect you against all kinds of pressure or requests over the phone. I often say that everything depends on judges: if they want to be dependent on someone, it means they will have to respond to these phone calls, figuratively speaking. You've never received secret calls from me. Everything is in the open between us. If the president keeps an eye on some criminal case, I say it openly and you do, too.”

“This is why I believe that although we have a bit of an authoritarian system in the public life, nevertheless, the president protects and preserves courts. But it is a personal thing while we have to make a system work regardless of personalities, including Lukashenko. This is why I think in the new Constitution we have to properly reflect the system of our courts resulting from the experience of our work over the last quarter of the century. But in a responsible manner: if you submit a proposal, sign it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Speaking about the operation of the court system, Valentin Sukalo noted that on the whole the situation is stable and functional despite some tensions in city courts. “The court system performs the constitutional duties it has to,” he stressed.