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Polls Close in Belarus Presidential Elections

  • VOA News

Polls have closed in Belarus, where incumbent Alexander Lukashenko is expected to win by a landslide.

Exit polls indicate that Mr. Lukashenko gained more than 80 percent of Sunday's votes. He has ruled Belarus for 12 years and is seeking a third term after he pushed through a referendum in 2004 ending term limits.

Several thousand opposition supporters gathered in Minsk after the polls closed despite Mr. Lukashenko's vow to crush any demonstrations that disrupt public order.

Opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich, who had four percent in exit polls, has accused Mr. Lukashenko of planning vote fraud and says the state-controlled media made a free and fair election impossible.

In recent weeks, opposition figures have been harassed, and Belarus authorities have repeatedly interfered with the independent news media.
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