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New Belarus government's action plan ready within two months

MINSK (BelTA) – Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov will present a government action plan before the parliament within two months. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement on 29 December as he introduced the new prime minister, BelTA has learned.

“Andrei Vladimirovich [Kobyakov] will be introduced to the parliament soon. In accordance with the Constitution he is supposed to present the government's action plan before the parliament within two months,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

“Andrei Vladimirovich Kobyakov is not a new person for you. He has a long record of economic, diplomatic, and managerial work. He worked as deputy prime minister for ten years. He was the head of the Belarus President Administration for the last two years and slightly more,” said the head of state. Besides, the President noted that Andrei Kobyakov still has to prepare proposals for the further optimization of government agencies. “We have to free government agencies from double functions and non-core functions. Use international experience and, most of all, take into account our situation, our life. Nobody can raise the issue of higher salaries for civil servants without optimizing the structures you run. Get them optimized, drop the excessive functions that you don't need at this or that stage, and act. By removing these functions, we will improve discipline and responsibility for the decisions that get made,” stressed the President.

The head of state underlined that there was nothing extraordinary about the new appointments. “The process never stops. Our life always goes on. Personnel rotation, appointments, and personnel movement at all levels represent a tradition, particularly in the year of the presidential election. We did it in the past. The backbone of the government, other managers of the country were appointed before the presidential election,” said Alexander Lukashenko. The President added that more personnel decisions will be made before and after the election. “Three steps. The first step has been taken already. The government, other civil servants, oblast governors now have time to look around and start the new year from 1 January in a new way if necessary,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

The President stressed that prior to the election he will monitor the performance of civil servants and will make relevant decisions. “In accordance with our Constitution, if things go well, if the nation trusts us and supports us during the election, the government is supposed to quit. And I will have the option of appointing new people. It applies to oblast governors and other civil servants,” said the President. He stressed he would like everyone to get the hang of things before the new year and dedicate all of their energy to handling the complicated tasks that the country faces.

“I believe that the present personnel decisions, which are meant to bolster the economic block, are particularly important,” said Alexander Lukashenko. This is why more than half of the top officials in the Council of Ministers have been replaced. “If the economy works well, we will have money, foreign currency, and hence stability in our society. And the nation will never excessively complain about us,” pointed out the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that the personnel decisions that had affected the government were not a spontaneous step. “I had taken at least half a year to think them through. I had a lot of doubts. Nobody had been lobbying for any posts. Until recently many knew nothing about the jobs they would have to do. It was my personal decision. But the decision didn't come out of the blue,” said the President.

In his words, a long time before the final decision was made, he had asked the prime minister and other civil servants (about a dozen people in total) to present their vision regarding the composition of the government. “Mikhail Vladimirovich Myasnikovich and many others gave me their vision of the government in plain envelops in total secrecy, without even using mail. I was making these decisions without any aides, by comparing all points of view, by defining my attitude to individual civil servants depending on the tasks they were supposed to accomplish now and later,” explained Alexander Lukashenko. The head of state also said that Mikhail Myasnikovich and other people had suggested appointing Andrei Kobyakov prime minister.