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Election Observer Accuses Authorities of «Manipulation» of Early Voting Turnout

Independent election monitor Uladzimir Labkovich told RFE/RL’s Belarus Service that a «significant overstatement» regarding the official voter turnout was noted by his group on the first day of early voting in the country’s ongoing presidential poll.

Labkovich, who monitors the voting process with the Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections group, said:

«At some polling stations the difference between the officially announced turnout and what we observed in actual fact was very high. For example, in Baranаvichу at the polling station number 20 observers reported 39 voters on the first day, while the commission announced that 143 people cast ballots, which certainly indicates a certain manipulation and falsification of turnout.»

The central election commission reported that as many as 4.49% of the eligible voters cast their ballots on October 6. Polling stations will close on the evening of October 11.