Turnout in Belarus presidential polls over 90%

09:21, December 20, 2010      

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Election commission workers count ballots for the presidential election at a polling station in Brest, Belarus, Dec. 19, 2010. Incumbent Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has won the Sunday presidential election, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC) citing preliminary results. (Xinhua/News Agency of Belarus)

Turnout of Sunday's presidential election in Belarus was a little over 90 percent, announced the Central Election Commission (CEC).

By 8 p.m. local time (1800 GMT), some 90.4 percent of registered voters had participated in the polls, said the Commission.

CEC head Lidia Yermoshina told a press briefing that although 51 percent of the ballots have been processed, the results were not yet known as the counting process was interrupted by the opposition rallies.

"Unfortunately, I can not say what percentage of votes cast for any candidate," she said.

Several thousands of Belarussians rallied in downtown Minsk to protest the election.

CEC secretary Nikolai Lozovik earlier said "the overall preliminary results of elections will be somewhere to 3-4 o'clock in the morning."

According to exit polls, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko has won the election with a great margin over other candidates. The ECOOM analytical center said he garnered 79.1 percent of votes, the TNS-Ukraine company reported 74.2 percent, and the Belarussian Committee of Youth Organization 81.4 percent.

Sunday's presidential election was the fourth one since Belarus claimed independence in 1991.

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