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Belarus President Lukashenko Seeks Political ‘Modernization’

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said political parties may be allowed to gain a greater role in parliament in the next four years, hinting at limited reform of a system that offers no representation for opposition groups.

“I would like this new parliament to start some modernization of our political system,” Lukashenko said during the final session of the outgoing parliament today in the capital, Minsk.

The pro-government Belaya Rus umbrella group may be converted into a centrist party which promotes private property while denouncing wealth creation at the expense of ordinary people, Lukashenko said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said last month’s parliamentary elections in Belarus were not free and fair after candidates aligned with Lukashenko won all seats. Only five deputies in the former Soviet nation’s newly elected 110-seat parliament are members of any political party, and none of them represent the opposition. Russia said OSCE criticism is “politicized.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at akudrytski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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