Opinion. Andrei Yeliseev: «Cards are on the table: the royal status»

4 mins

На русском языке: Мнение. Андрей Елисеев: «Карты на столе: монарший статус»

Andrei Yeliseev, political analyst and investigative journalist, wrote a post on his Facebook page in which he discusses the special status of Alexander Lukashenka. Here are his words unchanged.

Yesterday Lukashenka put all the cards on the table; it was literally said at the meeting as follows: «In the end, once and for all, it is necessary to decide that after a quarter of a century it is necessary to remove the main loads from the president, which are not peculiar to him as a head of state. That the government should deal with the economy and be responsible for it. And the administration should – pardon that word – drive into people’s heads that the economy is first of all the government, this is Golovchenko, this is there.

If any unpopular laws and other issues of lawmaking are adopted, it is Andreichenko and Kochanova, the legislative branch of government. We must bear some responsibility for it. If it’s personnel, ideology, politics and so on , it is the head of the administration Sergeenko and his deputies. And it turns out everything good and bad – it all is on the president’s shoulders…»

There is not even a need to interpret and reason something, because everything is said openly, and all this was shown by state television channels, which is even somewhat surprising. Only good things should fall on the «president’s shoulders», all the bad – either on the «government» (socio-economic failures), or on his «administration» (personnel mistakes), or on the «parliament» (all other unpopular decisions).

This means, within the framework of the new "constitution", Lukashenka, including as the head of the Presidium of the All-Belarusian People's Assembly, should be associated with everything good and not be responsible for anything bad.

The significance of yesterday’s quote is only that everything is finally said in the first person directly. In a more hidden form, all this surfaced during the so-called «Big Conversation» in March 2019, as he wrote in detail at the time:

An interesting shift in the big narrative of «I myself autocratically decide as a messenger of the people» to «I am the patriarch, but you are also in business and responsible». It didn’t appear now, but it was clearly manifested in The Big Conversation. Making a very rough analogy, Lukashenka increasingly claims to be the British queen: the desire to have unlimited authority and power (in Belarusian realities, thanks to the fully controlled media and all branches of government) and to be the main one by default, but at the same time to assign all responsibility for events in various spheres to specific officials or segments of the system (including pro-government experts), underneath. It’s a stash for more than the status of leading a «super-presidential» republic. Probably, Lukashenka would like to change the constitution in this direction.»

At the same time, unlike the British Queen, of course, it is planned to leave the prerogative to make all decisions to him, but to hold others accountable.

All this was conceived and read long before the 2020 elections, the subsequent references to the need for «change» as the formal reason for the new constitution are just dust in the eyes. The goal is to finally «close» the political system, deprive the Belarusian people of direct elections, provide Lukashenka with the lifetime status of the «father of the nation» on the model of Central Asian despotisms and ensure a dynastic transit of power in the medium term.

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