Critics said the 74.3 percent turnout reported by Central Elections Commission chairman Lidiya Yermoshina on Monday was way too high. The high turnout meant that all but one of the 110 seats up for grabs cleared a key electoral hurdle. The election resulted in representatives of three parties that have backed the policy agenda of Lukashenko securing slots in parliament.
The main opposition parties had boycotted the election to protest the detention of political prisoners and opportunities for election fraud, leaving only pro-government and relatively marginal opposition groupings with any prospect of winning seats.
Yermoshina dismissed such concerns, saying opposition forces needed to concentrate on improving their performance. “Opposition parties that wish to enter parliament need to think about how they are going to work in future,” she said.