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Opposition Disputes Validity of Elections

October 17, 2000|From Times Wire Reports

Opposition leaders in Belarus challenged the validity of parliamentary elections, contesting the government's turnout claims. With opposition candidates largely excluded from the ballot, turnout Sunday became a key indicator of support for authoritarian President Alexander G. Lukashenko's government. Opposition parties had called on voters to boycott the election. Turnout must exceed 50% to be valid. The government said turnout was 60.6%; the opposition put it at about 45%. The U.S. said it agreed with its European allies that the election was not fair.

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