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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid