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U.S. wants new vote in Belarus election


Published: Mon, March 20, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- The United States called for a new vote and the European Union threatened sanctions on Belarus, where thousands of opposition supporters gathered in the capital for a second night Monday to protest President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election.
But the number of demonstrators was smaller than on election night, and prospects for a Ukraine-style "Orange Revolution" appeared remote as many of the protesters appeared to have little appetite for a prolonged vigil and a possibly violent confrontation with police.
Lukashenko said Monday that his foes had failed to topple him in a foreign-backed "revolution."
With overnight temperatures at 28 degrees, protesters set up a dozen small tents and vowed to turn the demonstration into a round-the-clock presence. Most of the tents were draped with historic national flags favored by critics of Lukashenko, who has scrapped them for a Soviet-style version.
"This is our last chance," said Vladimir Fivsky, a 20-year-old student who had wrapped one of the red-striped white flags around his shoulders and wore a pin in the same colors saying: "For Freedom!" He said came to the square to protest because he "had enough" after 12 years of Lukashenko's repressive rule.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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