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Sunday, 23 September 2012 - 11:10
Polls open in Belarus amid opposition boycott
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Polls have opened in the former Soviet state of Belarus for a parliamentary election being boycotted by the two main opposition parties.

Opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko have urged voters to shun the polls, telling them instead to pick mushrooms or cook beetroot soup.

The vote comes two years after President Lukashenko won a landslide presidential election.

Since then, Belarus authorities have brutally suppressed the opposition.

President Lukashenko is often referred to as Europe's last dictator and has ruled Belarus since 1994.

Eleven political prisoners are currently in jail and Amnesty International says authorities have also detained other opposition activists ahead of the election.

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