25.09.2020

ALEX FROM MONTREAL PERSONAL BLOG

This blog belongs to a fully trilingual person and translator/interpreter Alexandre (Alex) Nikolaev.

Belarus election – Riots erupt as Europe’s last dictator Alexander Lukashenko wins landslide in ‘rigged’ vote

AT least one person is dead as protesters clashed with riot police in Belarus after an exit poll showed leader Alexander Lukashenko had been re-elected.

Shocking pictures from capital Minsk, show police using stun grenades in a bid to control rioters with reports that dozens have been injured.

Protestors clash with riot cops in Belarus following reports that Lukashenko had been re-elected
Protestors clash with riot cops in Belarus following reports that Lukashenko had been re-electedCredit: Getty Images
Police used stun grenades to try to disperse the demonstrators
Police used stun grenades to try to disperse the demonstratorsCredit: Getty Images
 President Alexander Lukashenko claimed drinking vodka can cure COVID-19
President Alexander Lukashenko claimed drinking vodka can cure COVID-19Credit: AP:Associated Press

Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for 26 years, won the election with 80 per cent of the vote, the election commission said today.

However, there are fears the vote was rigged after two opposition candidates were denied spots on the ballot before one was jailed and the other fled to Russia.

At least one person was killed after being knocked over by a police van and many more were injured in the clashes that began in several cities after polling stations closed on Sunday.

Lukashenko, dubbed Europe’s last dictator, has been widely condemned for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic which he said could be treated with saunas and vodka.

Protesters run through smoke during a protest after the Belarusian presidential election in Minsk
Protesters run through smoke during a protest after the Belarusian presidential election in MinskCredit: Associated Press
There is wide spread public anger at the result of the vote
There is wide spread public anger at the result of the voteCredit: EPA
A police truck hits an opposition activist during a protest after polling stations closed
A police truck hits an opposition activist during a protest after polling stations closed Credit: EPA
According to official data, leader Lukashenko won a landslide
According to official data, leader Lukashenko won a landslide Credit: Reuters
A couple ride a motorcycle through the chaotic protests
A couple ride a motorcycle through the chaotic protests Credit: Reuters
An ambulance pictured during the late-night riots in Belarus
An ambulance pictured during the late-night riots in Belarus Credit: Getty Images
Apocalyptic scenes in Minsk after reports of Lukashenko's landslide win
Apocalyptic scenes in Minsk after reports of Lukashenko’s landslide win Credit: AFP
A shirtless protester is held by police amid violent scenes in Belarus
A shirtless protester is held by police amid violent scenes in Belarus Credit: Getty Images
Riot police armed with shield face off against a defiant protester
Riot police armed with shield face off against a defiant protester Credit: EPA

Yet despite growing public anger, the long-time leader is set to win a landslide.

Candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 37, a former English teacher, who emerged from obscurity to become Lukashenko’s main rival, won 9.9 per cent of the vote, the official data showed.

She told reporters: “I believe my eyes, and I see that the majority is with us.”

Tikhanouskaya entered the race after her husband, an anti-government blogger who intended to run, was jailed.

Her rallies have drawn some of the biggest crowds since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Prison van transporting lag crashes with HGV leaving four people trapped

Human rights groups say more than 1,300 people were detained in the crackdown ahead of the election, including independent election observers and members of Tikhanouskaya’s campaign team.

After casting his vote on Sunday, Lukashenko denied imposing repressive measures as “fake news or far-fetched accusations”

According to official figures, Belarus has suffered 587 coronavirus deaths from 68,850 cases.

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