Home Business Economy & Politics Belarus Elections 2020: Alexander Lukashenko Wins Presidential Election Marred by Protests

Belarus Elections 2020: Alexander Lukashenko Wins Presidential Election Marred by Protests

According to Belarus’s election officials, Alexander Lukashenko won 80.23% of the vote in August 9 presidential election, with his main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, receiving 9.9%.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya entered the election in place of her jailed husband and went on to lead large opposition rallies.

Alexander Lukashenko, 65, has been in power since 1994.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has refused to accept the autocratic president won 80% of the vote.

“I consider myself the winner of this election,” she said on August 10.

Police and demonstrators have clashed for a second night in the capital Minsk and other cities.

A lack of scrutiny – no observers were present – has led to allegations of widespread vote-rigging in the poll.

Protests continued across Belarus on August 10. In Minsk, officers reportedly used tear gas against the demonstrators and arrested 30 people. One witness said they saw officers with truncheons beat protesters.

Photo AP

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Polish-based broadcaster Belsat TV said several metro stations in the capital had been closed and the internet was still mostly unavailable.

It comes after the state security agency said it had thwarted an attempt on Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s life. It gave no further details.

The election was held amid growing frustration at Alexander Lukashenko’s leadership, with opposition rallies attracting large crowds.

President Lukashenko has described opposition supporters as “sheep” controlled from abroad, and vowed not to allow the country to be torn apart.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said that the election results published on August 10 “completely contradict common sense” and the authorities should think about how to peacefully hand over power.

“We have seen that the authorities are trying to hold on to their positions by force,” she said.

“No matter how much we asked authorities not to turn on their own people, we were not listened to.”

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s campaign said it would challenge “numerous falsifications” in the vote.

Alexander Lukashenko poured scorn on Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s comments.

“So Lukashenko, who is at the top of the power structure and at the head of the state, after getting 80% of the vote must voluntarily hand over power to them,” the president said.

“The orders are coming from over there [abroad].”

“Our response will be robust,” he added.

“We will not allow the country to be torn apart.”