Exit polls give Lukashenko election lead

Election-day exit-polls give incumbent Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a huge lead in the country's presidential elections.

Lukashenko leads in the election with 76.42% according to the results of Sunday's exit-poll while four of his nine rivals gain slightly over 3%.

The poll was carried out at 100 polling stations and involved 7,343 people according to head of the ECOOM analytical center Sergei Musiyenko.

The Central Election Commission said a total of 75.8% of those eligible to vote have cast their ballot at the election by midday on Sunday.

Nearly a quarter of Belarus' seven million registered voters had cast their ballots during the five days of early voting last week.

The campaign for the Sunday election has been viewed as the most free since Lukashenko came to power in 1994. However, Western media reports claim that it has been tainted by vicious propaganda and reprisals against opposition candidates and their supporters.

Opposition candidates have called for a mass rally on a central square in Minsk after polls close at 20:00 o'clock (1800 GMT) to protest at what they claim will be massive vote-rigging by the ruling government.

Lukashenko, on the other hand, suggested the rally would not take place without elaborating on the matter.

"Don't worry; nobody is going to be on the square tonight," he said after casting his ballot with his 6-year-old son, Kolya.



Partners: Social Network