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Four Hopefuls Registered for Presidential Polls

The head of Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna (left)

Belarus’s Central Election Commission on September 10 registered Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Syarhey Haydukevich, Tatsyana Karatkevich and Mikalay Ulakhovich as candidates for the October 11 presidential polls.

«The government should be changed in a peaceful way. There should be no more than two terms of presidency. Lukashenka has been tired, he needs a rest,» — said Tatsyana Karatkevich, who is widely believed to be the only democratic opposition contender in the elections.

Some opposition leaders have called on Karatkevich to withdraw from the polls, arguing that her participation will only give the essentially phony race the semblance of a free democratic process. Some others have accused her campaign manager, Andrey Dzmitryeu, of being manipulated by the KGB.

Karatkevich told Radio Liberty that she is not going to quit the presidential campaign:

«[My withdrawal] would be a short-sighted move. By making it I would only help Lukashenka. If there is an alternative candidate, he or she will present a challenge to the regime. If not, the situation will only benefit Lukashenka.»

The incumbent president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, has been ruling in Belarus uninterruptedly since 1994.