Deputies of the forcibly dissolved parliament and supporters of the Popular Front demonstrated yesterday in Minsk on the first anniversary of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s referendum to change the constitution. The authority’s "preliminary count" indicated that some 4,000 had taken part in the procession — a figure that is probably an understatement.
Speakers at the rally ranged from right-wing Popular Frontists to moderate Communists. They pointed out that democratic countries and international organizations refuse to recognize the validity of that referendum, its resulting constitution, or the presidentially-appointed parliament. They also called for reinstatement of the 1994 constitution and voiced support for the opposition’s shadow cabinet. Police confiscated lists of signatures that were being collected at the rally in support of Belarus Charter 97, the opposition’s statement that is modeled after the historic Czech Charter 77. The Union of Patriotic Youth, officially created earlier this year as a successor to the Komsomol, held a counterdemonstration in support of the president’s policies. (ORT, Russian and Western agencies, November 23)
U.S.-Kazakhstani Relations Reach All-Time High.