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Lukashenka: No Kyrgyz 'Banditry' In Belarus

President Lukashenka (file photo) 1 April 2005 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka today denounced the toppling of Kyrgyzstan's president as "banditry" and said no similar upheaval would be possible in Belarus.

Speaking to the military in western Belarus, Lukashenka was quoted by BelTa news agency as expressing dismay that other former Soviet states stood by idly while protesters tossed former Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev from office last week.

Lukashenka also blamed the Kyrgyz revolt on poor management of the country's economy. He said such an upheaval is not possible in Belarus because its people are "reaonable." He added that political change will come through elections if it comes at all.

One 25 March, one day after Akaev was toppled, some 1,000 people protested in Minsk demanding Lukashenka's ouster. Police beat back the protesters, arresting more than 30.