8.6 C
New York
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Home World News Opposition in Belarus says Lukashenko's re-election win was rigged

Opposition in Belarus says Lukashenko’s re-election win was rigged

Belarusian opposition candidate Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya rejected on Monday official election results handing President Alexander Lukashenko a landslide victory, saying the vote was rigged and that protests that turned bloody on Sunday would continue.

The central election commission had earlier said Lukashenko won 80 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s election, while Tsikhanouskaya, a former English teacher who emerged from obscurity to become his main rival, took just 9.9 per cent.

Foreign observers have not judged an election to be free and fair in Belarus since 1995, and the run-up to the vote saw authorities jail Lukashenko’s rivals and open criminal investigations into others who voiced opposition.

The streets were quiet in the capital Minsk and other cities after violence on Sunday night, when riot police used force to try to disperse thousands of protesters who gathered after polls closed to denounce what they said were illegitimate elections.

A man lies on the ground in front of riot police during a protest in Minsk after polls closed in Belarus’s presidential election. (Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images)

Tsikhanouskaya, who entered the race after her blogger husband, who intended to run, was jailed, told reporters in Minsk that she considered herself the election winner. She said the election had been massively rigged.

Her aides said the opposition wanted a vote recount at polling stations where there were problems. They also said the opposition wanted to hold talks with authorities about how to bring about a peaceful change of power.

There was no immediate response to that offer from Lukashenko.

Belarusian united opposition candidate Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya casts her ballot at a polling station. She has denounced the election and says Lukashenko’s re-election is illegitimate. (Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters)

A former Soviet collective farm manager, Lukashenko has ruled the country since 1994, but is facing his biggest challenge in years to keep his grip on power amid disenchantment in some quarters over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy and his human rights record.

Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign rallies drew some of the biggest crowds since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Russia’s RIA news agency cited the Belarusian Interior Ministry as saying on Monday that police had detained around 3,000 people at Sunday’s post-election protests.

Police used force to try to disperse thousands of protesters who gathered after polls closed to denounce what they said were rigged elections. (Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters)

Lukashenko’s attempts to crack down on protests could hurt his wider effort to mend fences with the West amid fraying ties with traditional ally Russia, which has tried to press Belarus into closer economic and political union.

Neighbouring Poland said its Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had called for a special European Union summit on Belarus. The Polish Foreign Ministry condemned the violence and appealed to the Belarusian authorities “to start respecting fundamental human rights.”

Rights groups say more than 1,300 people were also detained in the crackdown ahead of the election, including independent election observers and members of Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign team.

After casting his vote on Sunday, Lukashenko denied imposing repressive measures as “fake news or far-fetched accusations.”

Source link

Today news
Today News 1 runs four of the western GTA’s most influential media websites, offering news, food, lifestyle and entertainment coverage for millions to the Golden Horseshoe and GTA regions. The independently-run, online news source was founded in 2019 and specializes in everything from breaking news to food and restaurant, arts and entertainment and lifestyle coverage.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Does the U.S. need a trillion-dollar coin?

There's an idea floating around that is undoubtedly crazy. But it has gained traction and support from some of the biggest economic thinkers...

U.S. confirms it will accept Canadian travellers with mixed vaccines

Canadians with mixed vaccines and U.S. travel plans can breathe a sigh of relief tonight.  Following weeks of speculation, the United States...

Ontario venues say new COVID-19 rules create ‘double standard’ for standing concerts

Indoor concerts are slowly coming back to life in Ontario, but venue owners say the latest COVID-19 guidelines will dampen any significant return...

Schitt’s Creek star Noah Reid to make Broadway debut in The Minutes

Schitt's Creek star Noah Reid is set to make his Broadway debut. Producers say the Toronto actor and musician, who played Patrick on...

Recent Comments