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Opposition Enters Belarusian Parliament for First Time in 20 Years

Belarus has elected its first opposition members of parliament in 20 years, the Reuters news agency reported Monday.

Anna Konopatskaya, a member of the opposition United Civil Party, and Yelena Anisim, an independent candidate with opposition ties, are both reported to have won seats. An opposition candidate last won a place in Belarus' 110-seat parliament in 1996, Reuters reported. The results will be officially announced later this week.

Belarusian officials have made a concerted effort to present more open elections within the country, allowing external monitors to access to the vote count and removing some barriers for candidates wishing to register.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said that the country had done “everything so that there aren't complaints from the West.”

Lukashenko has led the country since 1994, receiving no less than 75 percent of the vote in any of the five elections in which he has stood.

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