The former Minister of Labour Aliaksandr Sasnou believes that the “referendum” on November 24, 1996 was a stage-managed event for coup d’etat.
On November 24, 1996 a second “referendum” in the history of independent Belarus was held.
In protest against holding this referendum, Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir, Labour Minister Aliaksandr Sasnou, deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Andrei Sannikov, as well as 7 judges and the chairman of the Constitutional Court Valery Tsikhinia offered their resignation.
Today the former Labour Minister Aliaksandr Sasnou is also convinced that it was the right thing to do.
“I am viewing this “referendum” as a coup d’état, which trampled the Constitution, on which a certain person had sworn. And I view my dismissal as a delayed one. I should have quitted earlier,” – Aliaksandr Sasnou said in the interview to ucpb.org. – “I didn’t fit in what they have been doing, and both the home and foreign policy conducted by the authorities were unacceptable for me.
Back in 1994 the Constitution was passed; it considerably increased the role of Lukashenka as compared to the parliament and the judicial power. Even then there was a misbalance. Personally I was not voting for this Constitution, and I was dead against it. And as the further developments showed, this Lukashenka’s unlimited power led to the so-called “referendum” in 1996. It resulted in the policies: absence of reforms, no diversification of trade – in the economy; total “spreading for Russia” in the politics, smothering freedoms inside the country, flagrant violation of democracy, about which we had been dreaming, in our country. All that caused this reaction of mine.”
We remind that Uladzimir Niakliaeu, a politician and poet, called upon Belarusians to come to the Square on November 24 and lit candles, marking the 19th anniversary of the second “referendum.”