Over 6,000 polling stations open in Belarus to elect parliament

MINSK, September 28 (Itar-Tass) - Belarus started the general elections this Sunday. More than 6,000 polling stations opened in the country at 08.00, and they will work till 20.00.

A total of 40 polling stations were opened in 31 states to hold the general elections outside the republic. Most of them are in Russia and Poland - four in each country.

The Belarussian authorities hope that 85 percent of the electorate will participate in the general elections. "This is a very high percentage, and the greater part of people regard this as their civil duty. Citizens have not let us down in a single election campaign. The turnout was always high and orderly. I'm sure this will be the case this time," said President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday, referring to public opinion polls.

According to national legislation, more than 50 percent of registered voters are to go to the polls to recognise elections valid in the first round. The winner is a candidate who won the greatest number of votes. In the meantime, head of the Belarussian Central Election Commission Lidiya Yermoshina does not preclude a run-off in some constituencies.

"We should like to hold the parliamentary elections to be held in one round. But it is hardly probable where five or seven candidates run in the same constituency, although we still hope," she said at a meeting with observers.

Around 1,000 foreign and 17,000 Belarussian observers monitor progress in the general elections. Observer mission heads from the Commonwealth of Independent States and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly said on Saturday that they were satisfied with process in the election race.



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