Belarus' voter turnout almost 75 per cent for parliamentary elections

Nearly three-fourths of the registered voters in the Eastern European nation of Belarus, 74.32 per cent, cast their ballots in Sunday's parliamentary elections, the government announced.

The highest turnout was in the eastern Mogilev region, at 80.9 per cent, while the lowest was in the capital, Minsk, at 61.11 per cent, the Central Election Commission said on its website.

The elections are expected to grant pro-regime candidates a majority of the 110 seats in the country's lower house of parliament.

By mid-afternoon the voter turnout had surpassed the 50-per-cent threshold required to validate the elections. Nearly one-third of the eligible voters cast early ballots ahead of election day, the commission said.

The former Soviet republic, which the United States has famously labelled as Europe's last dictatorship, has been praised as more democratic in recent years.

The European Union removed sanctions against Belarus' longtime leader, Alexander Lukashenko, last year in support of the country's course.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said it had 400 monitors observe Sunday's elections. The OSCE will have a news conference on Monday to report its assessment of how the elections were conducted.

Last update: Sun, 11/09/2016 - 22:37
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