Thousands of protesters clash with police after Belarus’ long-ruling president re-elected
CA, 10 Aug 2020
Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of Minsk on Sunday night after the end of the presidential election in Belarus, demanding a change of power.
The Central Election Commission had earlier said that Alexander Lukashenko won 80% of the vote in Sunday's election, while Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, who's campaign rallies have drawn some of the biggest crowds since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, took just 9.9%.
Tikhanouskaya rejected on Monday official election results handing Lukashenko a landslide victory, saying the poll was rigged and that protests which turned bloody on Sunday would continue.
Lukashenko's attempts to crack down on protests could hurt his wider effort to mend fences with the West amid fraying ties with traditional ally Russia, which has tried to press Belarus into closer economic and political union.
Foreign observers have not judged an election to be free and fair in Belarus since 1995, and the run-up to the vote saw authorities jail Lukashenko's rivals and open criminal investigations into others who voiced opposition.
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