Lukashenko overhauls government following re-election

FOCUS News Agency

Minsk. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko overhauled his government Tuesday following his disputed re-election, replacing his long-serving prime minister with a trusted ally, AFP reported.

Lukashenko replaced Sergei Sidorsky, who has served as prime minister since 2003, with Mikhail Myasnikovich, who has held various posts in government and served as the head of the president's administration between 1995 and 2001.

Most recently, Myasnikovich, 60, served as the chairman of the presidium of Belarussia's National Academy of Sciences.

The former Soviet republic's central election commission last week announced official results from the December 19 poll, giving Lukashenko victory with 79.6 percent of the vote with his nearest challenger on a meagre 2.4 percent.

Belarus arrested more than 600 people after a massive rally gathered in central Minsk to protest the results that Western observers said fell well short of democratic norms.

Those detained include five of the nine candidates who challenged Lukashenko and a large proportion of the country's leading opposition political and media figures.


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