Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko looks likely to seek a fourth term in office at elections late this year after registering his initiative group with the country's central elections committee on Friday.
Thirteen candidates have had their initiative groups registered so far, the committee said.
The groups are responsible for collecting compulsory signatures in support of a candidate in the run-up to the December 19 presidential elections.
Andrei Sannikov has been touted as Lukashenko's main rival, especially after another opposition candidate, Alexander Milenkevich, pulled out of the election campaign last week saying it would be a "theatre."
Lukashenko, who won three landslide victories in the 1994, 2001 and 2006 elections, has come under a massive media attack from the Kremlin recently, with the state-backed NTV channel broadcasting a three-part documentary called "The Godfather" about the onetime collective farm manager in July.
Some analysts say Russia, which has traditionally supported Lukashenko, may support an opposition candidate at the polls.
MINSK, September 24 (RIA Novosti)