Belarus' Lukashenko Promises Reform
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko...
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he may launch political reform following the country’s parliamentary elections this fall, according to RIA Novosti.
Speaking during a meeting celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations between Belarus and China on Thursday, Lukashenko said he would “think seriously” about reforming the ex-Soviet state’s “political system” after a parliamentary vote in September.
“We study trends in the world and, of course, we will try to keep up [with them] and modernize our country,” Lukashenko, Belarus’ president since 1994, said. However, he added that his country was not in urgent need of reform.
Earlier this month, Belarus adopted a controversial new law restricting access to foreign websites.
Last month, a Ukrainian women’s group claimed Belarusian police kidnapped and abused three of its members after a topless protest in the capital, Minsk.
Lukashenko, described by the United States as “Europe’s last dictator,” is subject to a series of sanctions by Western governments over a brutal crackdown on protests against his disputed re-election as president in December 2010.
Speaking after a wave of public protests against his rule in July last year, Lukashenko defended his tough stance, saying he would not allow protesters to "impose uncertainty and turbulence" in the country.