Alexander Lukashenko: 90 percent of voters will support me in 2006 elections

President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday he was convinced that 90 percent of voters would support him in next year's presidential elections.

Speaking before university students in eastern Belarus, Lukashenko said "closed sociological experiments" showed that the overwhelming majority of citizens would support him, though less so in the capital, Minsk. He also again vowed to prevent a mass uprising similar to those which erupted following elections in other Soviet republics.

"Today, the so-called democratic forces in Belarus and abroad view the youth as cannon-fodder, cheap materials for building a 'colored' revolution and seizing power," he said, referring to the Rose and Orange revolutions that brought opposition leaders to power in Georgia and Ukraine.

Lukashenko also accused the European Union and the United States of using the rhetoric of "globalization" to try and enslave Belarus.

"By all accounts, it's clear that the haters of the Slavic people now want to subordinate the Belarusians and enslave them for the civilized Europeans," he said. "Under the guise of globalization, we are losing our rights to an independent path of development and, this means, taking away the future of our descendants and our people."

The United States and other Western nations have called Lukashenko "Europe's last dictator."

On Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to Belarus said Washington did not believe the elections would be free or fair, and said government domination of the media, limitations on free speech and authorities' refusal to allow observers meant the elections were "under threat", reported AP. P.T.

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