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30 January 2006 -- A Belarusian electoral official said today four presidential hopefuls had secured the 100,000 signatures required to register as candidates in the upcoming election.
Central Electoral Commission Secretary Mikalay Lazavik told reporters in Minsk today that incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka had gathered over 1.9 million signatures.
Lazavik said Alyaksandr Milinkevich, who is backed by most democratic opposition parties, had more than 198,000 signatures. He was followed by Social Democratic Party leader Alyaksandr Kazulin and Syarhey Haydukevich of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Lazavik said registration of candidates for the 19 March election will take place between 16-19 February after district electoral officials had completed verifying the presented signatures.
(Charter 97, Belta)