Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Nearly 4% of votes cast on first day of early voting in Belarus

Belsat.eu

3.92% of voters came to the polls on the first day of early voting for the 2016 parliamentary elections in Belarus. It kicked off on 6 September and will last through 10 September inclusively.

2.71% of eligible voters took advantage of early voting in Brest region, with 5%, 3.62% and 3.84% of early votes cast in Vitsebsk, Homiel and Hrodna regions respectively. The turnout in Minsk region reached 3.7%, while the turnout in Mahilio region stood at 4.61%. An estimated 4.18% of voters cast their ballots in Minsk. 5.25% of voters have already made their choice at Belarus foreign polling stations, state-run news agency BelTA reports with reference to the website of the Central Election Commission (CEC).

At one of Minsk polling stations, half of voters have already voted.

Voting in the upcoming parliamentary election should not be artificial, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said at Tuesdays meeting with Lidziya Yarmoshyna, Chairperson of the (CEC). The Belarusian leader also promised to cast his vote on Sunday.

In Belarus, 20-30% of voters usually go to the polls during the period of early voting. At the 2010 presidential elections, over 23.1% cast their votes in advance.

However, according to independent observers and human rights watchdogs, early voting makes it possible to rig elections in Belarus. According to them, every time Belarusian military, students and civil servants are forced to vote early.



However, according to independent observers and human rights watchdogs, early voting makes it possible to rig elections in Belarus. According to them, every time Belarusian military, students and civil servants are forced to vote early.

Human rights activists urge to use a mobile app that helps to report violations. The campaign Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections has also opened a hotline for reporting violations during the parliamentary elections.

More than 500 candidates are running for 110 seats in the House of Representatives. The election is to be held on September, 11.