Belarus opposition leaders announce creation of new political party

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  • Belarus’ opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova and the team of jailed opposition figure Viktor Babariko on Monday announced they were forming a new political party called “Together”.

    Babariko, a banker detained last month and excluded from the Aug. 9 presidential election ballot, spoke in a video taped from an unknown location before his arrest that was released Monday. In it, he said one of the party’s goals would be constitutional reform.

    The new party’s formation comes after three weeks of protests in response to the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko that several of his opponents have claimed was rigged in his favour.

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    Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko or Alyaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka is a Belarusian politician, who has served as president of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.

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    Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus and formerly known as Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk.

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