Demonstrations follow Belarus vote

Protestors have taken to the streets of Minsk after polls closed in Belarus's parliamentary elections.

Around a thousand opposition activists gathered in the capital's October Square after voting ended, claiming that widespread electoral fraud had taken place.

Former Presidential candidates Alaksander Kazulin and Alaksandar Milinkievic were among the leading opposition politicians present.

The rally took place as the Belarus Electoral Commission said that, after ballots were counted in 99 of the 110 constituences, initial results showed no opposition candidates had been voted in.

President Alexander Lukashenko who has governed the former Soviet nation for 14 years, is hoping that the EU and the US will recognise the election results and allow Belarus in from the diplomatic cold.

But Western endorsement depends on whether the 477 independent observers say the vote was free and fair.

Their verdict, due later today, may matter more than the actual result.



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