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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lukashenko Fires Corrupt Minister

MINSK -- Belarus's new President Alexander Lukashenko, who promised during his election campaign to weed out top-level corruption, on Wednesday fired a cabinet minister for alleged illegal dealings.

But parliamentary leaders in the former Soviet republic denounced one of the president's own decrees and members accused him of ab using power less than a month after taking office.

A meeting of the president's administration and the cabinet announced the dismissal of Forestry Minister Gennady Markovsky for alleged corruption. He was replaced by Grigory Novitsky.

"Every candidate for a post in the Cabinet of Ministers and the presidential administration gets checked for corruption by the parliamentary anti-corruption committee and the KGB," State Secretary Alexander Feduta told reporters.

Belarus's prosecutor general was ordered to open an investigation into Markovsky for losses in foreign economic trade, and to check the ministry's regional bodies.

Lukashenko complained after his election that forming a cabinet was very difficult because "far from every candidate passes muster."