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MINSK, Belarus – Election officials in Belarus say two opposition candidates have won seats in parliament for the first time in 20 years.
Figures released early on Monday in the authoritarian former Soviet republic showed Anna Konopatskaya and Yelena Anisim had won seats in the 110-seat parliament. Although all the ballots were counted by Monday morning, the official result has to be announced later in the week.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been taking steps toward rapprochement with the West as the country's Soviet-style command economy has staggered in recent years.
Belarus released all political prisoners last year, spurring the European Union to lift sanctions. The country's fragmented opposition has lambasted the election and the campaigning as undemocratic, but unlike in previous elections opposition candidates were not jailed before the vote.