Belarus Election: Opposition leader leaves country to protect children after rejecting poll results

DY365
DY365
Published: August 11,2020 11:07 PM
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August 11, 2020: Belarus’s opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has left the country and is now in neighbouring Lithuania after she rejected the official results of the presidential election.

August 11, 2020: Belarus’s opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has left the country and is now in neighbouring Lithuania after she rejected the official results of the presidential election.



In a YouTube video, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said she did it for her children as protests continued for a second night. One person has died.





Her surfacing in Lithuania came after thousands took to the streets of the capital Minsk for a second night on Monday, after authorities said longtime ruler President Alexander  Lukashenko had secured a sixth term with 80 percent of the vote.



Tikhanovskaya, a political novice who has energised the opposition, came second with 10 percent and protesters are backing her claim to have won the election.



For the second night in a row, police used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse demonstrations, though protesters fought back with stones and fireworks and built makeshift barricades, AFP reporters, protesters and witnesses said.





"Too many people are against Lukashenko," Pavel, a 34-year-old protester, told AFP.



"Our goal is to depose Lukashenko. He is not worthy of being president."



Dozens of people have been injured in the violence and the first fatality was confirmed on Monday when police said a man died after an explosive device went off in his hand.



 



The 37-year-old mother of two decided to run for president after the authorities jailed her husband, popular blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, and barred him from contesting.



Her campaign galvanised the opposition, presenting a historic challenge to former collective farm director Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, brooking no dissent and earning the nickname of "Europe's last dictator".