‘I was so pop­u­lar, I cheated’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

MOSCOW: Be­larus’s strong­man leader has ad­mit­ted rig­ging the coun­try’s last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion – be­cause, he says, his pop­u­lar­ity is so vast that the true mar­gin of victory was un­be­liev­able and had to be low­ered.

Be­larus­sian Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Lukashenko said in an in­ter­view this week that he took 93 per­cent of the vote in the coun­try’s 2006 pres­i­den­tial polls, but had the num­ber re­duced for “psy­cho­log­i­cal” rea­sons.

“I gave the or­der for it to be not 93%, but around 80%, I can’t re­mem­ber how much. Be­cause when you get over 90, this is not ac­cepted psy­cho­log­i­cally. But it was the truth,” he said.

Of­fi­cial re­sults had Lukashenko winning 83% of the vote. – Sapa-AFP

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