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Belarus election officials dismiss fraud complaints

[JURIST] The Belarus Central Election Commission [official website] has dismissed a complaint contesting the results of Sunday's election, which provided a landslide victory for Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile], who garnered over 82 percent of the vote. The complaint, filed by presidential candidate Alexander Kozulin, who received less than 3 percent of the vote, alleged rigged results and other monitoring violations of election law, and demanded that the election be invalidated. In response to the election results, demonstrators continue to protest [JURIST report] against Lukashenko and the vote at the central square in Minsk, in spite of opposition reports of at least 100 arrests [JURIST report] and government plans to quickly inaugurate [AP report] the Soviet-style leader as early as March 31. Opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich [campaign website; Wikipedia profile] has supported the protests and accused the government of orchestrating an assault on another of his aides in retaliation for organizing the demonstrations. Reuters has more. MosNews has local coverage.

In related news, Adrian Severin, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus [official website], reiterated his condemnation of the human rights violations [JURIST report] allegedly perpetrated by Lukashenko and added strong disapproval of the election results, citing the independent findings [JURIST report; EP press release] that the election results were flawed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] and the European Parliament (EP) [official website]. The European Union (EU) [official website] also condemned the election and said that it is considering visa sanctions for all Belarusian government leaders. Read the UNOG press release.

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