Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 117

President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus told his countrymen on Thursday that he will introduce direct presidential rule if they fail next month to elect a working parliament. (16) Only 120 out of 360 seats were filled in nationwide balloting in May, a result that owed much to Lukashenko’s own sabotaging of the election. At least 120 vacant seats must be filled in November’s round to have a quorum for a constitutionally viable legislature.

Lukashenko also announced that dozens of police and MVD officials were arrested this week in a sting operation aimed at routing out bribe-takers. The arrests were part of an all-out attack this week on the Ministry of the Interior, which apparently is not regarded as loyal to the president.

Strikes in Moldova May Lead to Political Confrontation.