President Lukashenko faces toughest test in years

Voters have begun casting their ballots in Belarus with five-term President Alexander Lukashenko facing his toughest challenge in years from a political novice.

President Lukashenko faces toughest test in years

Mr Lukashenko is still tipped to win, but he faces a prominent rival in Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 37, who is running in place of her jailed husband.

His previous landslide victories were condemned by election observers.

Belarus has also seen large opposition protests and a row with Russia.

Sometimes referred to as Europe’s last dictator, President Lukashenko, 65, was first elected in 1994.

In the last vote in 2015, he was declared winner with 83.5% of the vote. There were no serious challengers and election observers reported problems in the counting and tabulation of votes.