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President Lukashenka Bans Rallies, Protests During Harvest

Minsk, July 29 (RFE/RL) -- Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka today banned all public rallies and anti-government demonstrations during the harvest period.

Lukashenka told a televised meeting of government officials discussing agriculture problems that such events should not take place at a time when farmers must work in the fields. He said a decree will be issued very soon covering measures for stabilizing the situation in the country.

"Everyone must work instead of organizing campaigns to remove the president," he said.

Lukashenka, elected president two years ago, said he intends to remain in office during the rest of the current term and to seek two more terms. He said he has been elected by the people.

"Only the people can remove me," he said.