FOCUS News Agency
Minsk. An ethnic Pole has announced plans to compete with Belarusian authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko in next year's presidential election, the Polish Radio External Service reported on Monday, as cited by RIA Novosti.
Economist Jaroslaw Romanchuk was born into a Polish family in 1966 near Grodno, western Belarus, and supports the Union of Poles, an organization President Lukashenko considers subversive.
"In times of recession, Belarus needs a president who is an economist," Anatol Lebiedzka, leader of Romanchuk's United Civil Party, told Polish Rzeczpospolita paper.
Although no election date has been set yet, in accordance with the Belarusian Constitution and Electoral Code, presidential elections must be held before February 6, 2011.
Lukashenko has decreed that an extraordinary session of parliament be held on September 7 when an election date is due to be set.