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Belarus: Parliament Approves New Prime Minister

Minsk, 19 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Belarus parliament today accepted President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's nominee for the post of prime minister.

Itar-tass says the legislative body overwhelmingly endorsed Sergei Ling, who had been acting prime minister since the resignation last November of Mikhail Chigir.

Chigir resigned in protest over Lukashenka's controversial referendum that vastly expanded his powers and extended his term in office. The parliament which was also opposed to the measure was dissolved shortly after the referendum passed in November. The present legislative body is comprised mainly of handpicked supporters of the Belarus president.