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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China to Invest $20 billion In India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high profile visit More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid