Voting is underway in the presidential election in Belarus.
Polls opened at 8.00am local time and are set to close around 8.00pm local time.
Sunday’s ballot has been preceded by early voting that took place across the country from Tuesday, with a reported 41.7% turnout, according to the authorities.
The eve of today’s vote was rocked by detentions of opposition supporters and figures, most notably involving the head of the campaign of the main opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, after police stormed her campaign headquarters on Saturday.
The 37-year-old English teacher and wife of detained blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky is challenging president Alexander Lukashenko’s 26-year rule.
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The election campaign has been marked by widespread protests across the country and concerns over the fairness of the electoral process.
Some of the main opposition candidates were barred from running or arrested, while hundreds of protesters and opposition supporters were detained in recent months.
At least 10 people were arrested on Saturday evening in Minsk when hundreds of opposition supporters drove through the centre of the Belarusian capital waving flags and brandishing clenched-fist victory signs from the vehicles’ windows.