Authoritarian Lukashenko favoured in Belarus presidential election

Minsk - Belarus' authoritarian President Aleksander Lukashenko was running for a record record fourth term in office in a presidential election Sunday.

Lukashenko, a former collective farm boss, vowed he would defeat his nine challengers without vote fraud.

His critics have accused him of leaving opposition candidates few chances by employing police tactics against them and ordering state-controlled media to support him.

Police in the capital Minsk and outlying cities detained more than a dozen opposition activists on the eve of the election, and warned o crackdowns on anti-Lukashenko demonstrations planned after polls close, The Belapan news agency reported.

More than 1,000 international observers led by a 490-member delegation from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were in country to monitor the vote.


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