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Belarusian President Launches Morality Campaign

Minsk, 12 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced yesterday a Soviet-style morality campaign, calling for a crackdown to strengthen public discipline.

Lukashenka, in a national TV address, announced that he would start a "war on negligence, sloppiness, lack of discipline, and alcoholism" and signed a decree empowering authorities to implement it.

He said that Belarusians "can't live better without strong discipline."

Earlier this month Lukashenka also announced a campaign against corruption. In February, he reconstituted ideological departments that had existed in Soviet times.

Lukashenka, whose authoritarian regime has been denounced internationally, has cracked down on opposition groups, nonprofit organizations, and independent media