20 Dec 2010 21:00

Lukashenko says open to look at proposals from election rivals

MINSK. Dec 20 (Interfax) - President Alexander Lukashenko, who, according to official reports, won Sunday's presidential election, said on Monday that he would consider possible cooperation proposals from his election rivals.

"I'm not going to offer them anything, let them give proposals to me, and I will give them consideration, and officials who are authorized to do so will give them consideration as well. Don't you agree that those people have had some sensible ideas?" Lukashenko told a news conference in Minsk.

"We are willing to give consideration to them, but those proposals need to be to the point," the president said. "They mustn't be slogans," not even if "they are encouraging, good slogans," he said. "They must be calculated proposals."

"For example, the economist Romanchuk - if he has some specific business proposals, let him bring them to us and we'll decide what to do with them. If it's in the Minsk region, Boris Vasilyevich [regional governor Boris Batura] will enjoy working with him a great deal; if it's in [the city of] Minsk, [mayor Nikolai] Ladutko will receive him," Lukashenko said.

As for his other rivals in Sunday's polls, "Grigory Kostusev conducted his propaganda honestly," the president said. "He did know that nobody would support the Belarusian Popular Front, the time of the Belarusian Popular Front has gone, but he honestly stood under his slogan," Lukashenko said.

One more candidate, Viktor Tereshchenko, is "a sane person" who "has managed to become a serious politician to an extent, in the 90s he wasn't far from Lukashenko," the president said.

"If they have constructive ideas, I promise you that we will give consideration to every proposal and will put a yoke on the neck of each of them - let them tow the burden, let them work," he said.