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Belarus: Opposition Warned Over Campaign Violations

Minsk, 3 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Belarus election authorities warned the campaign of main opposition presidential candidate Uladzimir Hancharyk today against violating electoral rules, following an unsanctioned weekend rally. Elections Commission head Nikolai Lozovik said T-shirts suggesting incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is an "idiot" had been found at Hancharyk's campaign headquarters, along with newspapers with information about the opposition candidate.

Lozovik said that distributing the T-shirts and special newspaper editions are an attempt to buy voters, a violation of the law. Belarus electoral law provides that after two warnings a candidate can be barred from standing in an election.

Hancharyk's campaign says that the candidate is forced to resort to unsanctioned meetings because authorities systematically disrupt their legal campaign meetings.

The presidential election is scheduled for 9 September.