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Learning English - Words in the News
18 October, 2004 - Published 11:53 GMT
Belarus referendum
Belarus voting

The Belarus electoral commission announced on Sunday that the referendum had approved the lifting of the constitutional ban on a third consecutive term for President Lukashenko. This report from Steve Rosenberg:

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He's already established one of the most authoritarian regimes in Europe. Now Alexander Lukashenko is set to tighten his grip on power. According to preliminary results in Belarus's national referendum, President Lukashenko has won enough support to allow him to change the constitution and to run again for president.

This has been a controversial vote, accompanied by widespread allegations of electoral fraud. The BBC has been shown what appears to be evidence of ballot papers which had been ticked in support of the President before being handed out to voters.

Later today election monitors from the OSCE are due to reveal their concerns about the poll. President Lukashenko though is unlikely to care. He's denounced western criticism before as interference in his country's internal affairs and he's called on his people to pay no attention.

Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Minsk

Listen to the words

favouring and enforcing strict obedience to authority, as opposed to individual freedom

is set to tighten his grip on power
is likely to become even more powerful and authoritarian

run again for
here, become a candidate again

causing disagreement, argument or dispute

electoral fraud
fixing votes to gain unjust advantage

handed out

is unlikely to care
probably won't take much notice


obstruction, prevention

to pay no attention
to ignore

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