As President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko “addressed staffing issues on December 27” (according to his press office), Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich was dismissed. Myasnikovich took the prime minister’s post on this very day four years ago.
Andrey Kobyakov, who previously headed the president’s administration, came to replace Myasnikov on his post. The three deputy prime ministers, ministers of education, taxes and duties, industry, economy, the head of the State Property Committee were replaced too.
The president’s administration and the several regional administrations also faced staff reshuffles. Heads of major Belarusian companies like the Minsk Motor Plant, Bobruisk Plant of Tractor Parts and Units and others were replaced, too.
A day earlier, Lukashenko dropped some strong hints about possible staff reshuffles at a meeting on the economic situation the country. Nevertheless, when announcing the reshuffle, the president said that he did it “by tradition, in the year of the presidential election” and “there is nothing extraordinary in those appointments.”
“I’d like the new staff of the government and the higher bodies of the state authority to concentrate and work hard ahead of the election. No one should hesitate to work. I am ready to work with this government staff and officials also after the election, if everything goes well,” the president said and added that he has a reserve staff, which he may address after election to “polish” the government.
Aleksander Lukashenko pointed out the appointments aimed at strengthening the economic sector. “I’d like to reiterate that for us economy is of vital importance, it is the biggest area of responsibility and it is endangered,” he said. Arguing in favor of the staff reshuffles, Aleksander Lukashenko said he made such decisions ahead of the New Year in order the new leadership have time to mull their actions for the coming year and begin to act immediately after the Christmas holidays. “Presidential election is an examination for all of us. Everyone must work so that the people could not blame us of any problem,” Lukashenko said.