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Vasil Palyakou becomes new United Civil Party leader

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Photo: Radio Liberty Belarusian Service

Vasil Palyakou has become a new leader of the United Civil Party (UCP) following the vote at the party's annual congress on 8 July in Minsk. Radio Svaboda reports that a total of seven candidates were put forward: Vasil Palyakou, Mikalai Kazlou, Hanadz Ananyeu, Lyudmila Hryaznova, Aliaksandr Dabravolski, Anatol Paulau, Anatol Lyabedzka. The latter said during the opening of the congress that he was set to step down and would not seek re-election. However, his name appeared on the ballot against his own will.

Four candidates  - Lyabedzka, Ananyeu, Dabravolski and Paulau - withdrew, thus giving way to yet another candidate - Maksim Zharnouski from Horki who nominated himself. Eventually, the congress delegates could choose from four candudates - Kazlou, Hryaznovam Zharnouski and Palyakou.

72 delegates out of 104 present at the congress voted in favor of Palyakou who was a deputy party leader prior to his election.

Vasil Palyakou, 49 is from Homiel. He has a degree in political science, coordinates human rights programs at the party.