Opposition in Belarus Accused of Military Coup

By Mirza Cetinkaya, Moscow

The Belarus government has accused the opposition party of plotting a military coup under the pretext that President Alexander Lukasenko would stand as a candidate again in the presidential elections to be held on Sunday.

The accusation was raised by Security Service (KGB) Director Stepan Sukheranko.

Observers, however, considered Lukasenko's attempt as a way to eliminate any risks, and increase the certainty of his being elected for the third time.

Sukheranko warned at a news meeting in Minsk that any activities instigated by those taking to the streets to destabilize the country will be considered act of terrorism.

The opposition qualified the coup issue as a "planned activity of government."

The number of people flooding into the streets should a civil outcry erupt would not be more than 15 percent, reporters say. A "soft revolution," a few former Soviet Republics like Georgia and Ukraine survived, is far removed from the situation in Belarus, it has been predicted, and Lukasenko is expected to remain in office winning 70 percent votes.

While the electoral body has been allowed to vote since Tuesday at so-called "early elections," the opposition party launched an appeal not to participate in this process which could lead to electoral corruption.

After 12 years in office, Lukasenko changed the constitution so that he could be reelected for a third term.