Lukashenko announces presidential bid

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday formally announced he would run for this post again.

An 8,400-strong supporting group submitted a note to the country's Central Election Commission, proposing to register Lukashenko, 55, as a candidate on the presidential elections slated for Dec. 19, 2010.

The group submitted the letter only a few hours before the deadline for the applications, reported the country's official Belta news agency.

The Central Election Commission will make formal decision on eligible candidates next Monday.

According to the Belarus constitution, the group then should collect 100,000 signatures in support of Lukashenko's candidacy by Oct. 30, to make him applicable for the elections.

So far 12 people applied for the elections,including a businessman, a paramedic, an unemployed and a vegetable store worker.

Lukashenko's principal competitor, Alexander Milinkevich, last week canceled his application, citing disbelief in the fairness of the elections.

On the referendum in 2005,Lukashenko obtained the right to re- run for 5-year presidency with unlimited number of tenures.

Lukashenko has been head of Belarus since mid-1990s.


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