Parliament Needs Real Opposition, Not Its Current Leaders - Lukashenko

MINSK. Sept 28 (Interfax-West) - The Belarusian parliament needs a constructive opposition, "not its current leaders," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said.

"A real, constructive opposition is always welcome. We'll come to this sooner or later. But what I mean is not the opposition fed and funded fully from outside," Lukashenko told the press on Sunday after he cast his ballot in the parliamentary polls.

Belarus "needs an opposition that lives at the expense of its political activities. Nobody will be forming the opposition artificially," he said.

Speaking of the present-day opposition, especially its leadership Lukashenko said that "it will vanish [from the political arena] during our lifetime." "The opposition leadership sees nothing but itself today," he added.

In this context he said opposition needs new blood. "They should have given way to young people with a good record earlier. There are such people," he said.

Responding to a question from Ukrainian journalists why Belarusian voters don't know their MPs unlike Ukraine Lukashenko said: "God save us from the Ukrainian course of developments."

He found it normal that Belarusian voters don't know all of their candidates to parliament. "We have about 300 candidates, it is impossible to remember all of them," he said. In his opinion, the election campaign should be conducted primarily at places of work not in the streets.

Speaking of the release of opposition members from jail Lukashenko said he did so "to normalize economic relations with Europe."

Commenting on the opinion of opposition figure Alexander Kozulin that Lukashenko freed him from jail to resolve his visa problems and to ski in the mountains of Switzerland the president said: "I never intended to ski in Switzerland. My mountain-skiing preferences lie in the East, not the West."

"He [Kozulin] is a person with a sick imagination, that is his talent," Lukashenko said. "I feel calm as far as visas are concerned," he added.

Referring to claims that he is the last dictator in Europe he said: "I am a regular person. "

"We have no less democracy than Ukraine and Russia taken together. You can also add the West there," he said. "Demos is the people, not the handful of opposition figures you are talking about," he said.

Speaking of the continuity of the new parliament he said he would want to see no less than 25% but no more than 30% of members of the current parliament in it.

Lukashenko hoped that the new parliament would be "hard-working and with a female face with no less than 30% of deputies being women."

"Through sweat and blood we have developed the course which we should take. Hence the parliament should stick to this way," he said.



Partners: Social Network