Alexander Lukashenko has won a fifth term as Belarus’ president after a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election, exit polls say.
An exit poll indicates that Alexander Lukashenko secured nearly 83% of the vote, state media reports. No other candidate achieved more than 5%.
Alexander Lukashenko has governed the former Soviet republic almost unchallenged for 21 years.
No veteran opposition leaders stood as they were not allowed to register.
They said that the vote would not be free or fair.
Three other candidates were on the ballot paper besides Alexander Lukashenko.
On October 11, Belarusian TV showed President Alexander Lukashenko casting his vote in an election in which he is seeking a fifth consecutive term of office.
He was accompanied to the polling station by his youngest son, Kolya.
Kolya Lukashenko, 11, has accompanied his father on numerous public occasions in recent years.
Critics have accused Alexander Lukashenko and his supporters of preventing the main opposition parties from building any public profile and restricting their access to the all-powerful state-owned media.
This year’s Nobel Literature Prize laureate, Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich, has warned that her country is a “soft dictatorship”.
Svetlana Alexievich said Alexander Lukashenko was a man connected to the Soviet era and was untrustworthy. None of her books is published in Belarus.
Last time a presidential election was held in Belarus – in 2010 – seven of the nine presidential candidates were arrested.
One of them was only released this year following widespread international pressure.
The candidates were accused of various offences, including the encouragement of violent protest and attempting to overthrow the state.
The opposition says that there are no plans for post-election demonstrations similar to those held in December 2010.