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Belarus: Chairman Of Disbanded Parliament Condemns 'Deteriorating' Situation

Warsaw, 9 January 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Speaking in Warsaw, the chairman of Belarus' disbanded Supreme Soviet, Semyon Sharetsky, says the economic situation in his country is "steadily deteriorating."

Our correspondent in Warsaw quotes Sharetsky as saying the current situation "cannot last forever." He says democratic forces in Belarus are "uniting to take a stand" against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. He said democratic forces cannot allow "undemocratic government in the heart of Europe."

Sharetsky is in Poland after traveling there using what he called his "service passport." Sharetsky had previously been denied permission to cross into Poland after being told his diplomatic passport had been revoked.

Sharetsky is scheduled to meet today with Josef Sych, the speaker of the Polish parliament and other Polish officials.

Meanwhile, political parties and movements opposed to Lukashenka have set up a shadow cabinet to monitor economic and social policy in Belarus. The shadow cabinet is led by former parliamentary deputy chairman Gennady Karpenko. The core of the shadow cabinet includes deputies of the previous parliament, which Lukashenka disbanded after winning extensive new powers in a referendum last November.