Lukashenko considering reform

Jan. 19, 2012 at 11:27 AM
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MINSK, Belarus, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday he may undertake political reform after the country's parliamentary elections.

During a meeting celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations between China and Belarus, Lukashenko said he would give serious thought to reforming the "political system" of the ex-Soviet state after September's parliamentary elections.

He said he would look to China for guidance both with internal affairs as well as Belarus' relationship with the Western world. He also praised China's control over the Internet.

"The internet is still a kind of interesting toy in the hands of the world community," he said. "But later people will get used to it and it will be like a newspaper and cease to be important in people's lives."

Lukashenko, president since 1994, is regarded by the United States as "Europe's last dictator." RIA Novosti reports he is subject to several sanctions by Western countries because of his harsh crackdown on protests over his controversial re-election as president in December 2010.

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