Date: 12 October 2020

Lukashenko Consults Constitutional Reform with Jailed Opposition

Belarusian autocrat’s press office announced that imprisoned members of the opposition agreed to engage in a five-hour discussion about the constitutional reform and to keep it “secret”. In a clip shared by official service, Lukashenko says to the group of his political opponents that he is trying to convince not only their supporters, but also the entirety of the society to look at “things” more broadly. Referring to the current protests, he added that the constitution cannot be rewritten “on the streets.” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya commented that no dialogue can be held in a prison cell. The international forum has seen this as an expression of Lukashenko’s weakness.

On Friday, 9 October, Britain became the latest European country to withdraw its ambassadors from Belarus as an act of solidarity with Poland and Lithuania. The two countries have so far recalled 35 diplomats from Belarus. Although Minsk’s Foreign Ministry said that the demand to Poland and Lithuania to reduce their diplomatic staff was not intended to curtail dialogue with the EU, eight European countries have now withdrawn their ambassadors from Lukashenko’s autocratic country.

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