Lukashenko’s opponent, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, received only 10.12 percent of the vote, according to the electoral commission. However, the 37-year-old woman assumes she got between 60 and 70 percent of the vote. Tikhanovskaya said on Friday that the majority of people do not believe in a victory from Lukashenko. She herself is in neighboring Lithuania, where she fled because she no longer felt safe.
Since the election on Sunday, numerous messages have been shared on social media pointing to mass fraud. For example, there are pre-filled electoral letters. Tikhanovskaya requests a recount.
Protests have been taking place in Belarus for days since the elections. Large-scale strikes have also broken out within state-owned companies. Some workers rally behind Tikhanovskaya.
The opposition leader asks the mayors of Belarusian cities to allow peaceful protests this weekend. ‘For me and for all of us, human life is the most valuable. We must stop the violence in the streets of Belarusian cities, ‘she said in a video on social media. “We have always said it is necessary to defend our choice only through legal, non-violent methods. The authorities have plunged the peaceful demonstrations of civilians in the streets into bloody chaos. ‘
Lukashenko himself has refuted speculation in Belarusian media that he might have left the country. “First, I am still alive and not abroad,” he said in a government building in Minsk. He has warned of the consequences of strikes at state-owned companies. “People need to be told this is the only chance to save a company.” Then the families can also be fed, it said.