News / USA

Lukashenko Wins Belarus Presidential Election, Mass Protests Follow

President earns 80% of vote in election opposition says was rigged

An opposition demonstrator walks in front of the riot police officers during a rally in Minsk, Berlarus, early Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. Thousands of opposition supporters in Belarus tried to storm the main government building to protest what the opposition
An opposition demonstrator walks in front of the riot police officers during a rally in Minsk, Berlarus, early Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. Thousands of opposition supporters in Belarus tried to storm the main government building to protest what the opposition

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko won a fourth 5-year term Monday, after a landslide election marred by a violent police crackdown on demonstrators and the arrest of opposition candidates.

Electoral commission figures released early Monday show Mr. Lukashenko has been re-elected with almost 80 percent of the votes.  The opposition says Mr. Lukashenko rigged the vote.   

Immediately after polls closed Sunday, Belarusian riot police used batons to break up a huge protest in central Minsk.

Tens of thousands of people defied the president and packed Independence Square.

After a crowd of demonstrators smashed windows and doors of government headquarters and tried to storm the building, troops surrounded the square as riot police waded into the crown, swinging batons.

Hundreds were arrested and witnesses report numerous injuries.

Earlier, police beat and seriously injured opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyayev, who was taken to a hospital unconscious.

They also used noise grenades and flooded another central square with water in Arctic-like temperatures to create an impromptu ice rink to discourage protesters.  That did not stop thousands from chanting pro-democracy slogans and waving European Union flags.

While casting his vote Sunday, Mr. Lukashenko denounced the opposition and said there would be no one on the square that night.

The opposition says authorities urged voters to cast ballots before election day, which it says opens the door to massive fraud.

Former U.S. president George W. Bush has called Mr. Lukashenko "Europe's last dictator" for suppressing free speech, human rights and rigging past elections.  The European Union also maintains sanctions against some Belarusian officials.

Mr. Lukashenko has recently been feuding with long-time ally Russia over gas and oil prices and has spoken of closer ties to the West.  But European Union foreign ministers have said they are concerned with a lack of progress towards democracy and human rights in Belarus.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid