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Opposition Leader In Belarus Says Won't Run For President

Belarusian opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich
Belarusian opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich has said he won't participate in presidential elections in December because the future victory of the incumbent is widely seen as a foregone conclusion.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has run Belarus since 1994, has strongly indicated he will seek a fourth term in office in the December 19 election.

Speaking at a press conference today, Milinkevich acknowledged that Belarus's opposition was fractured and had failed to field a common candidate.

But he said he would still participate in the campaign by supporting pro-European opposition candidates.

On September 16, Lukashenka called the opposition "enemies of the people."

Milinkevich ran in the 2006 election, in which Lukashenka was reelected by a landslide.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote failed to meet democratic standards.

compiled from RFE/RL Belarus Service and agency reports