Belarusian presidential election valid: CEC

MINSK, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The presidential election of Belarus held on Sunday has been claimed valid by Lidia Yermoshina, head of the Central Election Commission (CEC).

Earlier a CEC spokesman told media quoting the dynamics of turnout a similar result.

"We are receiving reports from polling stations every two hours -- as at 10:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), noon, and 2:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) and so on," the official said as cited by the Interfax news agency.

The CEC announced earlier that by 12:00 a.m. (1000 GMT), around 46 percent of voters had cast their ballots.

According to Belarusian electoral law, a presidential election can only be regarded as valid if the turnout exceeds 50 percent.

Belarusians went to the polls on Sunday in the fourth presidential election since the country gained independence in 1991.

Some 6,000 polling stations across the country opened at 8:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) and will close at 8:00 p.m. (1800 GMT).

Ten candidates, including incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, run in the polls. Lukashenko is widely expected to secure a fourth term.


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