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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Belarus Polls Boycotted

MINSK, Belarus -- Belarus has elected local councils in polls boycotted by major opposition parties and largely ignored by the West.

A Central Electoral Committee official said 50.4 percent of the country's 7.36 million voters had cast ballots by late Sunday afternoon, making the polls valid under the current laws.

Local elections were last held in Belarus in 1995 but many councils were not formed then due to low voter turnout.

The current elections have been boycotted by major opposition parties, whose leading figures had been effectively barred from taking part in the race by a recent decree from President Alexander Lukashenko.