No Opposition Boycott in Belarus

MINSK -- Belarus' liberal and nationalist opposition overcame divisions Sunday and agreed not to boycott a parliamentary election that the government hopes will improve its poor relations with the West.

About 70 opposition candidates have been allowed on the ballot for 110 seats, far more than in previous elections.

President Alexander Lukashenko has staked his hopes on next Sunday's vote to secure legitimacy from the United States and European Union and expressed impatience with Western demands on Saturday, saying Minsk had bent over backward to stage an election that would win their approval. "If even this time the election turns out to be undemocratic, we will cease all discussions with them," he said.