Demonstrations in Belarus against Lukashenko's victory

Demonstrations in Belarus against Lukashenko's victory

The protests arose after the publication of the election results which confirmed the sixth consecutive victory of the outgoing president. Protesters denounce fraud

(Photo: Valery Sharifulin / Tass / Getty Images) The elections of 9 July in Belarus resulted in the landslide victory of Alexander Lukashenko who, with 80% of the votes, won his sixth consecutive term as president. A foregone conclusion in a country defined by many as the last dictatorship of Europe which, however, did not prevent thousands of citizens from taking to the streets in Minsk and protesting, denouncing fraud and manipulation of the vote. The police severely repressed the demonstrations that went on all night: tear gas and stun grenades were used to disperse the crowd and dozens of wounded, hit by police batons. Some protesters - although the exact number is unknown - were arrested. The protest marches, as pointed out by some foreign press correspondents present on the spot, had an absolutely peaceful connotation that dispersed with the intervention of the police.

Live stream of central Minsk tonight, where many thousands of opposition supporters are protesting what clearly appears to be falsified presidential election results and clashing with police who are trying to clear them out.

- Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) August 9, 2020

unlike earlier, this election had aroused great interest on the part of the belarusian people, which, for the first time, could count on a candidate of the opposition: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of blogger and youtuber Sergei Tikhanovsky, a well-known political opponent of Lukashenko, was arrested in the beginning of may. Tikhanovskaya during the election campaign, had failed to arouse enthusiasm and participation coming to gather 60 thousand people during a rally in Minsk. The results of the ballots for the award, however, only 10% of the preferences .

the repression of The Lukashenko

president Lukashenko has now minimized the popularity of Tikhanovskaya, calling it, “an opposition that is not worth to suppress,” but in the days dedicated to the elections, as already happened in the election campaign, has tried to contain any voice of dissent . Have been blocked the access routes to the capital, willing military vehicles in the streets of the city and even blocked access to the internet for a few hours.

Google maps date from Minsk right now. Looks like a lot of road closures following the presidential result #Belarus2020 #Minsk

— Rupert Evelyn (@rupertevelyn) August 9, 2020

in Addition, the candidate has been forced into hiding to avoid being arrested. Fate, however, is touched to another opposition leader, Maria Kolesnikova . Do not seem to have repercussions, however, for another key figure of this election: Veronika Tsepkalo. The three women, in fact, have represented the front of opposition to Lukashenko, after the arrest and the exclusion from the elections of some political very popular in Belarus. Kolesnikova is the wife of a businessman forced to flee the country to avoid arrest, while Tsepkalo, he coordinated the election campaign of the banker Viktor Babaryko, very popular in Belarus. Guided by Tikhanovskaya, asking to be elected to approve a political amnesty and call for new democratic elections within six months.

That of fraud, then, is not only a suspect but a reality confirmed by different circumstances. On the social network have been reported various episodes, like a scrutinatrice that leaves a seat with a bag full of cards, or the results of some of the cities that give the belarusian president is clearly in a disadvantage. Added to this is the lack of control of the Oecd in which, for five days, has been prohibited from reaching the village to verify the correctness of the whole electoral procedure.

A few polling stations published ballot counts that showed Lukashenko losing handily, in stark contrast to his crushing official victory

— max seddon (@maxseddon) August 9, 2020

Seems like too many people voted for Tikhanovskaya already. The number of ballots doesn't add up because of early vote rigging. Police had to bring a ladder and commission members are climbing out of the polling station with full bags

— Tadeusz Giczan (@TadeuszGiczan) August 9, 2020

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