Polls close in boycotted Belarus election

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Polls close in boycotted Belarus election

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Alexander Lukashenko is expected to have his presidency reinforced by the election in Belarus.

Official results show a 26 percent turnout through advance voting ahead of Sunday’s poll.

Opposition parties had called for a boycott and withdrawn their candidates, complaining the 110-seat chamber would only rubber-stamp the President’s decisions.

At the helm for 18 years, Lukashenko has accused his opponents of being scared to let the electorate speak.

International observers have been sent by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to oversee the election in what has been called ‘the last dictatorship in Europe’.

Lukashenko’s opponents have complained of activists being detained and protests being banned in the run-up to the poll.

They say anyone participating in the election is validating of these actions.