World News

Belarus opposition wins parliamentary seat for first time in 20 years: electoral commission

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko casts his ballot during a parliamentary election at a polling station in Minsk, Belarus September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

MINSK (Reuters) - At least one Belarussian opposition candidate was elected to parliament on Sunday, the central election commission said - the first time a politician opposed to hardline President Alexander Lukashenko has won representation in 20 years.

The result will not change the political landscape in the former Soviet republic, once termed Europe’s last dictatorship by the United States, but it signals the authorities are making some concessions to Western demands for democratic change.

Announcing the results for three of Belarus’s seven regions, the election commission chief, Lidia Yermoshina, said Anna Konopatskaya, a member of opposition party United Civil Party, had won a place in the 110-seat parliament.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Peter Cooney