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Belarusian Opposition Names Candidate

Alyaksandr Milinkevich Minsk, 2 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Allied opposition activists in Belarus today named a single candidate to challenge President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in next year's presidential election.

RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports that after a tight vote, Alyaksandr Milinkevich was selected as the opposition candidate for next summer's vote with 399 votes.

Milinkevich is a former deputy chairman of the Hrodna regional executive committee and currently heads a nongovernmental organization.

Anatol Lyabedzka, the chairman of the opposition United Civic Party, received 391 votes.

Some 790 delegates from Belarusian opposition parties and nongovernmental organizations attended the two-day Congress of Democratic Forces in Minsk.

The united opposition has chosen a red tree on a white field as its emblem.

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