Hardly anyone believes it was fair. Lukashenko, who came to power in 1994, typically won with percentages known only from North Korea. There was never any serious opposition. That was no different now.
Tichanovskaya’s husband, among others, had the political ambition to succeed Lukashenko and make Belarus a modern state, but he was arrested. His 37-year-old wife then decided to step forward without political experience with the most important promise to hold real, free elections within six months.
“The last dictator in Europe” did not let it get that far. However, he should be concerned that Tichanovskaya, with the support of two other opposition leaders, quickly became very popular. Even though that is not visible in the unofficial “result”.
“We cannot recognize such an election result,” said opposition presidential candidate Anna Krasulina.
The opposition called on citizens to protest against electoral fraud. Thousands of residents responded to the call and protests erupted all over the country. According to many reports, the police acted very harshly against the peaceful protesters, especially in the capital Minsk. There are many injuries. In the meantime, the state press agency Belta reports, citing the Ministry of the Interior, that the police “has the situation under control”.
In response to the bloody skirmishes, opposition candidate Tichanovskaya called on the security forces not to use force. “I want to remind the police and the military that they are part of the population,” Lukashenko’s 37-year-old rival declared on the night from Sunday to Monday. She asked her followers not to provoke. “I know that the people of Belarus will wake up in a new country tomorrow,” he said.
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