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Belarusian KGB Says Opposition Planning Coup

1 March 2006 -- Officials at the Belarusian KGB today accused the political opposition of preparing a coup attempt after the 19 March elections.

KGB spokesman Nikolai Kupriyanov said the banned organization Partnerstvo was planning mass demonstrations after the presidential vote.

The U.S.-financed and Minsk-based group Partnership is an NGO promoting democracy and the development of civil society.

KGB officers arrested four members of Partnership last week.

Meanwhile, the main opposition candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich vowed today to use "appropriate measures" if authorities resorted to force to break up a rally planned for 2 March. He gave no explanation of what these measures might be.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is running for a third term in the election. He has been widely accused of harassing the opposition and limiting its access to the media.


Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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