Eleven hopefuls to run in Belarus presidential polls

Eleven candidates have secured the required number of signatures to run in Belarus' presidential election, the country's Central Election Commission (CEC) reported.

In order to be registered with the CEC, a candidate has to collect at least 100,000 signatures. Registration will take place in November.

"Incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko, who has submitted over 1,100,000 signatures, is still in the first place," CEC Nikolai Lozovik told RIA Novosti.

Lukashenko is followed by opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyayev, who has amassed over 160,000 signatures. Further down the line are former foreign minister Andrei Sannikov (over 150,000 signatures) and liberal Yaroslav Romanchuk (over 120,000 signatures).

Lozovik said that some candidates' signature lists had "raised questions."

Belarus' long-time leader Lukashenko has fallen out with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently, leading some analysts to speculate that the Kremlin may support an opposition candidate at the polls on December 19.

MINSK, October 30 (RIA Novosti)


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