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BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION MEETS IN KYIV TO MULL LOCAL ELECTIONS, CONGRESS. Some 110 representatives of Belarusian-opposition regional chapters took part in a conference in Kyiv on November 6, Belapan reported. The conference discussed what tactics the opposition should adopt in the run-up to the local elections in Belarus scheduled for January 14. "We have not had [real] elections for a long time. The authorities have already prepared their candidates, and nobody is going to count the votes," Belarusian united opposition leader Alyaksandr Milinkevich said in Kyiv. But Milinkevich simultaneously declared that he will participate in collecting signatures for opposition candidates in the local elections. Milinkevich also said that the conference mulled the holding of a congress of democratic forces in Belarus in early 2007. Milinkevich, who was proposed as a candidate for the March 2006 presidential election by a similar congress of democratic forces in 2005, said he is ready to give up his leadership of the united opposition in Belarus if the new congress elects a "worthier" candidate for this purpose. JM
UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS MARK OCTOBER REVOLUTION ANNIVERSARY. Some 2,000 mostly older people took part in a march and a rally organized by the Communist Party in Kyiv on November 7 to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, Ukrainian news agencies reported. Demonstrators held placards reading "My Fatherland Is The Soviet Union," "We Will Not Surrender To NATO," and "The Russian-Ukrainian-Belarusian Union Will Come To Pass!" "The form of the government proposed by the Bolsheviks and practically implemented by them during the Soviet era is the most acceptable," Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko told UNIAN. Simultaneously, some 300 representatives of Ukrainian nationalistic organizations gathered on Independence Square in Kyiv to honor the memory of the victims of Soviet-era repressions. JM