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Belarusian President Dismisses Chief Of Staff

29 November 2004 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka today removed his chief of staff from office and replaced him with the country's prosecutor-general.

No official reason was given for the removal of Ural Latypov and the choice of Viktor Sheiman to replace him.

Latypov, who has been Lukashenka's chief of staff since 2001, was considered one of the most powerful members of the president's team.

It is the second high-profile sacking since Lukashenka last month won a controversial referendum that allows him to seek a third term in 2006.

Earlier this month, the Belarusian president dismissed the head of the National Security Service, Leonid Yerin.