UN rights expert airs doubts about Belarus election result

AP News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015 3:25 PM
UN rights expert airs doubts about Belarus election result

GENEVA (AP) — A U.N. human rights expert is raising doubts about the re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, saying he garnered the highest margin of victory in any election in Europe since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Special rapporteur Miklos Haraszti on Tuesday says no independent election monitors could verify the reported 84 percent of votes for Lukashenko. He cited allegations of vote-rigging, including ballot-stuffing and "carrousel voting" in which groups of voters are taken to cast ballots at multiple sites.

Still, Haraszti praised a lack of a violent crackdown on protests this time, unlike during the country's 2010 election. The opposition boycotted Sunday's election.

Following the release of some political prisoners in Belarus, European Union officials have considered suspending sanctions against Belarus that were levied for previous crackdowns on dissent.

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This corrects to show the victory margin was the highest since the end of the Soviet Union, not World War II.