JRL NEWSWATCH: “Belarus Leader Proposes Vote on Constitution Reforms” – AFP

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“… Lukashenko on Monday discussed plans for a referendum on constitutional reforms …. The 66-year-old … fac[es] his greatest challenge yet [in his 26-year rule,] following three weekends of giant protests in Minsk over a disputed August 9 [election] where he claimed victory over … popular opposition candidate[] Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Lukashenko has twice before held such referendums, pushing through changes that strengthened the role of the president. … Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov[The new] proposals … focus[] on court reforms … reject[ing] [opposition] calls … to [return to a] … 1994 constitution that was later modified to give the president more powers. …”

The Kremlin is supporting Belarusian constitutional reforms, on the heels of Putin pushing through Russia’s own constitutional reforms in July that pave the way for Putin to serve more terms.

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