Belarus: Lukashenko, “Europe’s last dictator,” triumphantly re-elected

BELARUS – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won the presidential elections with 80.23% of the votes, according to official results published on Monday, August 10, a day after a tense vote marked by the repression of protests and accusations against the government. of fraud.

Alexander Lukashenko’s great rival, opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, got 9.9% of the vote, according to these first results from the Electoral Commission of Belarus. As a result of the proclamation of the results, she rejected them immediately, asking that the salient, in force since a coup in the mid-1990s, “give up power.”

Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, a 37-year-old former English teacher who became a homemaker and later candidate totally by chance, had estimated Sunday night that “most” of his fellow citizens supported him. The other three candidates each got less than 2% of the vote, according to official results.

Violent repression of demonstrations, 3,000 arrests

The election campaign was marked by an unprecedented mobilization in favor of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, in particular through meetings that brought together tens of thousands of people across the country.

During the night of Sunday, thousands of opposition supporters gathered in the capital and several cities of Belarus to protest after the announcement of a first official poll that gave Alexander Lukashenko the winner with almost 80% of the votes.

In clashes with protesters, police said they used “special equipment” to disperse the gatherings, including stun grenades.

According to the NGO Viasna, at least 90 people, including journalists, independent observers and protesters, were arrested on Saturday and Sunday in Minsk. Several Belarusian media outlets reported injuries during the violence on Sunday night. On the side of the ministry, this Monday morning it advanced the figure of 3,000 arrests and dozens of injured.

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Congratulations from Putin, the vigilant EU

Violence and a challenge to the results that did not prevent Vladimir Poutine from welcoming the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko. The Russian president sent a “congratulatory telegram” to his counterpart on Monday.

“I am counting on the fact that his performance as head of state will allow the future development of mutually beneficial Russian-Belarusian relations,” the Russian president wrote, according to the Kremlin, while Alexander. Lukashenko has accused his traditional Russian ally in recent weeks of wanting to vassal his country, of supporting the opposition and seeking to destabilize it.

The one who is described as “the last dictator in Europe” due to the authoritarian and repressive regime that he has established since he came to power has also received congratulations from Chinese leader Xi Jinping. On the contrary, Poland has convened an extraordinary summit of the European Union on the situation in the country, after the repression of the demonstrations the day before.

See also in the HuffPost: Despite the coronavirus, Belarus offers a huge military parade for May 9

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