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Home > News > World News > Article > Russian ally Belarus goes to polls amid calls for boycott

Russian ally Belarus goes to polls amid calls for boycott

Updated on: 26 February,2024 07:48 AM IST  |  Tallinn
Agencies |

Those parties support Lukashenko’s policies. About a dozen other parties were denied registration.

Russian ally Belarus goes to polls amid calls for boycott

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko presents flowers to an ecection commission official in Minsk. Pic/AP

Polls opened Sunday in Belarus’ tightly controlled parliamentary and local elections that are set to cement the steely rule of the country’s authoritarian leader, despite calls for a boycott from the opposition, which dismissed the balloting as a “senseless farce.” 


President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus with an iron hand for nearly three decades and on Sunday announced that he will run for the presidency again next year, accuses the West of trying to use the vote to undermine his government and “destabilise” the nation of 9.5 million people.


Most candidates belong to the four officially registered parties: Belaya Rus, the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Party of Labor and Justice. Those parties support Lukashenko’s policies. About a dozen other parties were denied registration.


Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is in exile in neighbouring Lithuania after challenging Lukashenko in the 2020 presidential election, urged voters to boycott the polls. “There are no people on the ballot who would offer real changes because the regime only has allowed puppets convenient for it to take part,” Tsikhanouskaya said.

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