Thousands of people took to the streets in Belarus on Sunday evening to demonstrate after current President Aleksandr Lukashenko was declared the winner of the presidential election in an exit poll.
Police in the capital, Minsk, are cracking down on the protesters, using sticks and flash grenades to disperse the crowd. Ten people would have been arrested on Sunday evening.
According to the first exit poll, Lukashenko would have received 79.7 percent of the vote, while his biggest challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya would have received only 6.8 percent of the vote.
Tichanovskaya has said he will challenge the election results.
Anger about the economy and the coronavirus
Aleksandr Lukashenko, also known as ‘Europe’s last dictator’, has been in power in Belarus since 1994, but faced the greatest opposition of his career during these elections. His reputation for human rights, the economic situation in the country and his approach to the coronavirus caused a lot of anger, with thousands of people showcased in recent months.
International organizations have been judging elections in Belarus since 1995 as not free and unfair.
Tichanovskaya was forced to become an opposition candidate herself when her husband, a critical blogger, was arrested when he wanted to run. The day before the election, two more members of her campaign team were arrested.