Belarus voters elect pro-gov’t Parliament
MINSK - Agence France-Presse
Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko (L) casts his ballot with his son.Belarus said yesterday that no members of the opposition had made it into Parliament in elections ridiculed by President Alexander Lukashenko’s foes as brazenly rigged.
An analysis of the list of those elected to the 110-seat chamber showed that only four non-ruling party members had made it into Parliament. Three of them belong to the largely pro-government Community Party of Belarus while one is a member of the marginally opposition Agrarian Party.
All four had sworn allegiance to Lukashenko’s policies during the election campaign, the Interfax news agency said in its analysis. The Central Election Commission also said the opposition, suffering badly under Lukashenko since a 2010 vote ended in protests and mass arrests, appeared to have failed to win a single seat in Parliament.
Participation in Sept. 23’s ballot was reported at a massive 74.3 percent despite evidence of scant attendance at polling stations in the capital of the country often described as the last dictatorship in Europe. The opposition said actual turnout was half that, charging that the official rate was inflated by a five-day pre-election process that allows state workers to take ballot boxes directly to voters across the ex-Soviet nation.
Several opposition groups has called for a boycott of the poll, including United Civil Party and The Belarus People’s Front, although others still supported certain candidates.