President of Belarus hits out at opponents

The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka, has attacked his increasingly united opponents, pledging to ban rallies during the harvest, and to remain in office for two more terms.

General Lukashenka, who has advocated a go-slow approach to market reforms and cracked down on dissent, told a televised meeting he would tolerate no attempt to remove him from office. "Everyone must work instead of organising campaigns to remove the President," he said.

The general, who was elected two years ago, has tried to bring his country of 10 million people into a union with neighbouring Russia and signed a treaty with Russia last April pledging a "community" between the two states. Reuter - Minsk

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