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Belarus opposition visits Slovakia; the SMK promises help

Slovakia's ruling Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) welcomed the Belarussian opposition party, the Civic and Popular Front, to Bratislava on November 15.

Slovakia's ruling Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) welcomed the Belarussian opposition party, the Civic and Popular Front, to Bratislava on November 15. The SMK's guests said that the regime of Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko was undemocratic, a mix of totalitarianism, Fascism and Bolshevism.

According to the TASR news agency, an independent poll found that nearly 60 percent of Belarussians want their country to undergo democratization, with most calling the current style of government "Lukashism".

The SMK wants to help Belarussian opposition parties by sharing Slovakia's experience after 16 years of democracy, and help foster European-style People's Party structures.

"We, who experienced one party dictatorship until 16 years ago, must not forget that there are still countries in the world where there is neither freedom nor human rights," SMK leader Béla Bugár said after signing an agreement of cooperation. Bugár said he was glad that Slovakia could help the possible winners, the Civic and Popular Front, of the next elections in Belarus.

Belarus Popular Front Chairman Vincuk Viachorka thanked Slovakia's citizens for their support.

The people of Belarus are due to take part in a presidential election next year in which - reportedly thanks to a fixed referendum - current President Alexander Lukashenko can take part for the third time.

However, opposition candidate Aleksander Milenkevich also has a chance to win the vote. Lukashenko's opponents are afraid that the regime will fix the election, which is why they are asking for international observers to be present.

Belarussian opposition leaders have also come to Slovakia because of a series of conferences called Unknown Belarus, the aim of which is to publicize the fight for freedom within Belarusian society more widely before next year's presidential election.

- Martina Jurinová

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