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BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSES WEST OF SEEKING HIS OUSTER... Alyaksandr Lukashenka delivered a more than three-hour-long speech to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly in Minsk on March 2, Belarusian media reported. Lukashenka told the forum, which comprised some 2,500 loyal supporters of his regime, that the West is channeling "hundreds of millions" of dollars to the Belarusian opposition to topple him in the March 19 presidential election. "Hundreds of millions are coming via Ukraine, the Baltic countries, and Poland. We know what embassies receive cash and bring it here, and later distribute the money," Lukashenka said. He claimed that Belarus's State Security Committee (KGB) has recently "busted 72 organizations" that had received "hundreds of millions of dollars, cell phones, computers, [and] already prepared election falsification documents." "On March 19 they will appear [in the streets] with these documents, which have already been prepared, declare one of these bastards [the opposition candidates] the winner and say that the authorities have rigged the vote. It's good that [KGB Chairman] Sukharenka with his guys, who are very few, have smashed this structure," Lukashenka added. JM
FORMER UKRAINIAN PREMIER UPBEAT ON BECOMING 'MASTER' AFTER ELECTIONS. Former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said at a meeting with voters in Kharkiv on March 2 that his Party of Regions will definitely win the March 26 parliamentary elections, UNIAN reported. "After 24 days we will become masters in our land," Yanukovych said. "We need power and we are ready to receive it from your hands. On March 26 we should show who is the master in our own house." And Party of Regions election campaign manager Yevhen Kushnarov called on voters to come to the polls on March 26 and "liberate our land from the Orange [Revolution] invaders." According to a poll held by the Center for Social and Political Studies from February 22-26 among 1,200 Ukrainians, the Party of Regions is backed by 30 percent of voters, Our Ukraine by 17 percent, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc by 11 percent, and the Socialist Party by 5 percent. JM