Violent scenes are taking place this evening in Minsk, Belarus, where law enforcement officials, with President Aleksandr Lukashenko, are battling the contestants.
The protests began after the official exit poll released on Sunday evening at the end of the presidential election, which credits the eternal Aleksandr Lukashenko with nearly 80% of the vote, according to BBC News and Tass.
The images posted on Facebook, Telegram groups and Twitter by independent journalists in Belarus show huge crowds of people in Minsk, but also in other cities of the country – Gomel, Brest or Baranovichi. In the latter two reportedly, police withdrew from the central area in front of thousands of protesters.
— Belarus Free Theatre (@BFreeTheatre) August 9, 2020
On the same evening, according to exit polls, Aleksandr Lukashenko would have won the election again by 79.7%, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tihanovskaia would have won only 6.8% of the suffrages.
The country’s authoritarian leader has previously said that everything will remain “under control”. However, independent journalists in Belarus say that citizens are angry and convinced that the elections have been rigged.
Opposition candidate Svetlana Tihanovskaia’s spokeswoman claimed her victory based on “real” results from 20 polling stations. The official asked the Central Election Commission to declare the correct results on Monday. Tihanovskaia herself urged police not to forget “that it is part of the nation.” “I know that citizens will wake up tomorrow in a new country and I hope that tomorrow will bring good news. Stop the violence. officers, I know you can do it,” the opposition candidate said. Several polling station presidents came out in front of citizens to announce what they call the “real” results of the vote. In the clip below, Tihanovskaia is announced winning by 90%.
A moment when head of one of local election commissions in Minsk announced announced real results in front of the gathered crowd with Tikhanovskaya getting 90% pic.twitter.com/SgeotipQLL
— Tadeusz Giczan (@TadeuszGiczan) August 9, 2020
Aleksandr Lukashenko is in his sixth term as president of Soviet-state Belarus and has ruled the country since 1994. He is in office for the longest time of all European heads of state (except monarchs). In Belarusian society, the “Old Man” is unofficially called.
— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) August 9, 2020
President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s forces are making arrests, while demonstrators are wounded.
Probably a “non lethal” stun grenade… ripped away part of the heel.
Again: all these so-called “non lethal” weapons ARE lethal at close range. pic.twitter.com/qCgAbd9xVI
— Thomas C. Theiner (@noclador) August 9, 2020
Unfortunately, the internet is now blocked in Belarus so we will update the article when we will have more details about the current situation.
Meanwhile, feel free to add your own opinion about this situation and the outcome in the comments section.