The newly re-elected president of Kazakhstan has apologised for winning the election so handsomely.
Nursultan Nazarbayev said it would have been "undemocratic" for him to intervene to give him less than the 97.7 per cent of the vote he won, with turnout at 95.22 per cent.
He said on Monday:
I apologise that for super-democratic states such figures are unacceptable. But I could do nothing. If I had interfered, I would have looked undemocratic, right?
Nazarbayev, 74, is officially the "leader of the nation" and has ruled Kazakhstan since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Independent election monitors from the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe said voters in Kazakhstan were "not offered a genuine choice between political alternatives", with opponents having either fled or been jailed.
Nevertheless, the presidents of Russia and China have been quick to congratulate Nazarbayev, so that's OK then.
Furthermore, Nazarbayev isn't even close to the most overwhelming election victory in recent history, that dubious honour going to Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, who was awarded 103 per cent of the vote in a district during presidential elections.
More: [The world leaders who came to power through rigged elections]2