MINSK -- The political opposition in Belarus was headed for a split on Thursday after its main leader said he would not attend a congress because of a leadership struggle.
Alexander Milinkevich, who was awarded the European Union's top human rights prize last year, accused other politicians of ignoring voters and harboring ambitions to take over as opposition leader.
"Rather than work together, some party leaders have begun fighting to take over the leadership," Milinkevich said in a statement released late Wednesday.
"I can no longer remain a hostage to this situation and have no desire to be a part of any infighting," he said.
Other opposition politicians said Milinkevich's action would invariably lead to a split.