03:06 GMT +317 February 2019
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    MINSK, April 14 (RIA Novosti) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko says he will run for his third presidency if the population supports him.

    "If I make up my mind to run for the presidency and the population supports me I will certainly do it," Alexander Lukashenko told deputies of the Belarussian Parliament.

    Presidential elections in Belarus are slated for 2006. For the incumbent president to be able to run for presidency the country must hold a referendum on whether it is possible for the Belarussian President to run for his third presidential term.

    Alexander Lukashenko promised the referendum would be "open, fair and in strict accordance with the Constitution." He also assured that nobody would play any political games during the election campaign.

    "The main thing for Lukashenko is not to take the power again but not to be reproached for abandoning the power," he said.

    The Belarussian president said a decision on whether to run for presidency or not might depend upon attacks of the opposition on the supporters of the present-day power. "Such people are many [Lukashenko's supporters] and I must defend them," he added.

    Alexander Lukashenko said he would announce his final decision either in public, in the Belarussian Parliament or in his address to the nation.