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Belarusian Deputies End Hunger Strike

Minsk, 21 June 2004 (RFE/RL) -- A group of Belarusian parliamentarians and others today ended a hunger strike after claiming they had been ensured that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka would not seek reelection to an unconstitutional third term in office.

Valery Fralov, one of three deputies who started the hunger strike 18 days ago, said "certain results" had been achieved, though he offered no specific details.

Fralov, his two fellow deputies and eventually 16 other people, went on hunger strike hoping the parliament would refuse to adopt measures that would allow Lukashenka to be re-elected.

The deputies were also demanding the release from jail of leading opposition figure Mikhail Marinych, arrested in April on charges of document theft and unlawful handling of firearms.

(Belarusian Service/AFP)