Minsk - The Belarusian parliament on Tuesday voted to hold presidential elections on December 19.
Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in office since 1994 and is often referred to as ' Europe's last dictator, is to stand for a fourth term.
In the last election in March 2006, Lukashenko won 83 per cent of the vote. International electoral observers denounced the outcome, saying the election had been rigged.
Critics of the government of the former Soviet republic have come under increasing pressure, with opposition supporters and civil rights activists being detained.