Belarus : president Lukashenko declared the winner after a night of repression - The Point

One dead, dozens injured and hundreds of arrests. This is the balance sheet of the presidential election that took place on Sunday 9 August in Belarus, after wh

Belarus : president Lukashenko declared the winner after a night of repression - The Point

One dead, dozens injured and hundreds of arrests. This is the balance sheet of the presidential election that took place on Sunday 9 August in Belarus, after which the country announced on Monday, the landslide victory of the country's authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko. The night was marked by the violent repression of anti-government protests, the opposition denounced fraud.

The head of State, in power for 26 years, has won a sixth term with 80,23 % of the vote, according to official results, in front of the opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa (9.9 per cent). It had estimated on Sunday evening to have the support of a "majority" and said to wait for the publication of official data, to communicate its intentions. Sunday evening, thousands of Belarusians took to the streets of the country shortly after the publication of a formal survey, giving the outgoing president largely as the winner. According to the NGO defence of human rights Viasna, the repression of the demonstrations in Minsk has left one person dead and dozens injured.

"We're not dead"

According to the organisation, "a young man suffered a fatal head injury after being struck by a vehicle" on the avenue of Winners in the centre of Minsk. "Dozens of wounded are also found in the hospitals" of the capital, according to the same source. The NGO also reported at least 300 arrests on Sunday across the country, including a minimum of 152 during the evening events in Minsk, where crowds gathered in several places have been violently dispersed by the riot police, using in particular "ammunition specialist" like grenades sound.

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Ales Bialiatski, head of the NGO Viasna, was denounced to the Agence France-Presse use "disproportionate" force used by the police. "We have no dead ", merely to comment to the Agence France-Presse, a spokesman for the ministry of the Interior, Olga Tchemodanova. Elsewhere in the country, the evening events were also held, including in Brest, Pinsk, Gomel oblast or the city of Grodno, according to media reports anti-government, as Nexta, Nasha Niva or Tut.by. The communication was very disturbed in Belarus, the Internet is being extremely slow, or even cut. Of the opposition media have complained of deliberate measures of power.

Tikhanovskaïa, a new comer in politics

Ivan Noskevitch, the head of the investigative Committee, a powerful body of investigation, warned on Monday that " the security forces will take all possible measures to defend the constitutional order of the country ", according to the official agency Belta. It has announced the opening of investigations for the organization of riots and violence against police. "A lot of suspects and detainees were in a state of intoxication ", he said. Alexander Lukashenko, who had promised that there would be no "loss of control" or "chaos" in the country on Sunday, had not responded Monday to the events of the previous day.

The election campaign had been marked by an unprecedented mobilization in favour of a new entrant in politics, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, 37 years, English teacher training. She believed Sunday night that "the majority" of his fellow countrymen, maintained it. "I consider that we have already won, because we have conquered our fear," she said. Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa had called on its supporters to vote en mass, wearing bracelets and white by photographing their ballots, in order to make fraud more difficult, but also be able to carry out a count-in parallel, the result of which has not yet been announced.

Lukashenko has called the epidemic of "psychosis"

on Sunday, long queues were formed as a result in front of many polling stations annulled by the electoral Commission as a "provocation" organized. The opposition has also accused the power of massive fraud. The authorities had redoubled its efforts in the end of the campaign to stop the rise of Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, arresting a dozen of his staff, including the head of his HEADQUARTERS to campaign, Maria Moroz.

Before the emergence of Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, the main rival of Alexander Lukashenko had been excluded : two are incarcerated, one third is in exile. The three other qualified candidates have not mobilized. The rise of Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa is made on a background of growing economic problems, aggravated by tensions with Russia, accused of seeking to vassaliser Belarus, and the response by the controversial Alexander Lukashenko to the outbreak of coronavirus, which he described as a " psychosis." Belarus has not organized a ballot deemed free since 1995. On several occasions, protests have been matées without hesitation, in particular after the presidential election of 2010.

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Updated Date: 10 August 2020, 05:33

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