Incumbent, jailed politician among Belarus candidates

AP News
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Posted: Jul 17, 2015 2:47 PM

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A dozen candidates have filed for October's presidential election in Belarus, including the authoritarian incumbent who has ruled for 21 years and a politician who's been in jail since he ran in 2010.

Belarus has been run since 1994 by Alexander Lukashenko, who has repressed opposition and retained a Soviet-style state-controlled economy. All the elections held under Lukashenko have been criticized by the West for abuses.

After polls closed in the 2010 vote, a large protest demonstration gathered in the capital Minsk and was harshly dispersed by police. Seven of that race's 10 candidates were arrested, three of whom were sentenced to prison for organizing mass disorder.

One of them, Nikolai Statkevich, was among those who have filed to be candidates, the elections commission said Friday.