MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Election officials in the former Soviet republic of Belarus have refused to allow a former presidential candidate to run in the upcoming election.
President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus with an iron fist since he was first elected to the post in 1994. The last presidential vote in 2010 culminated in street protests, which resulted in hundreds of people including several presidential candidates being imprisoned.
The Belarusian Election Commission on Monday did not explain why it turned down the application of imprisoned Nikolai Statkevich to run in the October vote.
Statkevich was sentenced to six years in prison for what the court said was plotting riots at the 2010 presidential election.
The Belarusian opposition hopes to campaign for votes even though Lukashenko's win seems certain.