Second night of protests in Belarus over the poll results
Image Credit: Siarhei Leskiec/ AFP via Getty Images
Authorities said that a protester died after an explosive device he was holding, exploded in his hands. He is the first casualty since the clashes began yesterday. The clashes began due to what most believe a vote-rigging in Sunday’s Presidential election.
The Autocratic President, Alexander Lukashenko, has secured 80% of the votes. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, his rival, secured 9.9%. She did not accept the results, and believes she is the real winner. The election was held after growing number of the population were angry at Lukashenko’s leadership. The President has been in power since 1994, and has once described the opposition as ‘sheep’.
The President Alexander Lukashenko casting his vote at a polling station in Minsk. Image Credit: EPA
Yesterday, the president ordered the use of elite Alpha group special forces to counter the growing protests. On Monday evening, the soldiers were seen holding live-fire weapons in the central areas of Minsk. Their task was to search and prevent any terrorist and extremist actions. Clashes between the soldiers and protesters broke out in central Minsk, after an opposition rally, where thousands of activists attended. Police were also seen dispersing the crowd, by using water cannons, firing tear gas and stun grenades.
It was reported that some metro stations were not operational and the internet was nearly unavailable on the second day of the protests. The internet was also severely disrupted on Sunday, the day of the election. This was reported by the online monitor, NetBlocks.
The European Commission President, Ursual von der Leyen said that the election results should be published.