Lukashenko ahead elections promises very high human development index in Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko promised ahead of the country's presidential elections that Belarus will reach a high human development index, Sovetskaya Belarussiya (Soviet Belarus) newspaper reported.

Belarus will hold presidential elections on December 19. Eleven candidates have secured the required number of signatures (at least 100,000) to run for president.

"By 2015 the standard of living in Belarus will become close to the European," Lukashenko said. "Belarus should become one of the top 50 countries with the highest human development index," he continued.

Lukashenko said in late October that he did not expect any serious political battles at the upcoming presidential elections in the ex-Soviet republic.

Lukashenko said the same month he did not care how many rivals would face him during the elections.

The president said also in October he had no time for a political campaign and did not know how many signatures were collected in his support.

The Belarusian Central Election Commission reported that Lukashenko had submitted over 1,100,000 signatures.

The incumbent president is followed by opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyayev, who has amassed over 160,000 signatures. Further down the line are former foreign minister Andrei Sannikov (over 150,000 signatures) and liberal Yaroslav Romanchuk (over 120,000 signatures).

Lukashenko, who won three landslide victories in the 1994, 2001 and 2006 elections, said his rivals were unlikely to gain more than 1-5% of the vote during the presidential polls.

MINSK, November 27 (RIA Novosti)


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