Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Lukashenka attacks opponents over election boycott


Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Saturday attacked his political opponents for calling for a boycott of this months parliamentary elections.

While talking to reporters in Minsk, the Belarusian leader routinely branded opposition forces as the "fifth column" acting in the interests of the countrys foreign foes and said that a true opposition would struggle for power rather than boycott an election.

"If you simply wag your tongue, that means you act on someones orders or want to show off for some time in front of people," he said.

Mr. Lukashenka condemned the opposition camps election boycott campaign as an effort to destabilize the situation in Belarus and "absurd work to upend this [election] process and, if theyre lucky, the country." "But I say honestly that they wont manage to do that," he added.

Mr. Lukashenka revealed that he was not following the election campaign closely. "There are people who are dealing with that successfully. I have more important issues that I must solve today. If they are solved, then our opposition will remain as it is today," he said.

Most opposition forces have condemned this months elections for the House of Representatives as a farce and have called on voters not to go to the polls. Even those opposition politicians who have been registered as parliamentary candidates plan to withdraw from the race before voting begins.

The main voting day in the elections is September 23. It will be likely preceded by a five-day early voting stage.