Protests in Belarus continue consecutively against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his authoritarian regime.
After the results of the rigged elections on August 9 were announced, mass protests emerged all over the European country.
Lukashenko who has held office since 1996, this will be his sixth term as President. His twenty-six-year tenure is the longest one in the former Soviet Union country. Also, widely known as Europe’s “last dictator”, Lukashenko’s denial of COVID-19 as a serious threat irks a lot of people. According to global monitors, the preceding five elections in which Lukashenko emerged victoriously, only the first one was deemed as a fair election.
Under his authoritarian rule, the authorities have often oppressed the competition and no opposition has been strong enough to take over.
Lukashenko had confronted more public competition amid his mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic and has rejected calls to give up following his contested re-election, cautioning that the previous Soviet republic would “perish as a state” if it became pressured to copy the vote.
According to reports by Reuters, he told workers protesting against his government in a tractor plant, “Until you kill me, there will be no other elections,” on August 17.
Russia, a conventional best friend of Belarus, has stated it might provide Lukashenko army guide if necessary.
All the protests in opposition to Lukashenko have been “leaderless” as stated by opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who lost against Lukashenko.
A huge protest rally took place in the capital of Minsk on August 16, against the alleged poll-rigging where cases of police brutality have been reported. Hundreds of protesters had been wounded in clashes with police due to stamping out by clubs, rubber bullets and flash grenades during the last week. Almost seven hundred arrests have been made and two deaths have been confirmed in these protests.
On August 19, the European Union (EU) stated that the Belarusian elections were rigged and they weren’t fair nor free. Lukashenko has been warned of a new round of sanctions against his government. Russia has stated that Brussels should stop “meddling” in the Belarusian elections.
Angela Merkel has called for a national dialogue to get out of the crisis in a peaceful and non-violent way.
As protests continue for its twelfth day, the Belarusian prosecution have accused the opposition of trying to seize power and cause unrest in the country. A criminal case has been opened against the opposition council as protests go on.