Belarus: Protesters Flood Minsk, Demanding Lukashenko's Resignation
ICBPS– Thousands of thousands of people took to the streets again in Belarus on Sunday to protest over the controversial election, demanding the resignation of the government.
The people – who have been called by the opposition for a major rally in Minsk on Sunday after more than 100,000 people flooded onto the streets of the Belarusian capital, and other cities in Belarus last weekend demanding Lukashenko’s resignation.
The Belarusians have conquered the streets in Minsk as a Telegram Channel – affiliate with the opposition groups – stated the uprising also sparked in the other important cities in Belarus.
The peaceful demonstrators demand the resignation of the long-time Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who has been re-elected as president amid cries of foul play from the opposition.
The election was rigged as Lukashenko looks to extend his five-term presidency took over since 1994. The 65-year-old Lukashenko claimed that he won the sixth presidential term with alleged 80 percent vote in the August 9 ballot.
For the two-week, people have taken to the streets to protest over the early August disputed elections.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 37, who fled to Lithuania after challenging the results of the disputed presidential election two weeks ago, told Sky News the momentum for change in her country is unstoppable even if protests reduce in size because of state intimidation tactics.
“I am so proud of Belarusians now because after 26 years of fear they are ready to defend their rights,” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya told AFP.
The young opposition leader — who is now in exile — urged armed forces and the police not to turn on fellow Belarusians if ordered by the suppressive ruler to use violence again against peaceful demonstrators.
An extraordinary EU foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday held amid growing violence after the Belarus election, and possible sanctions would be put in agenda. The European Union has already rejected the disputed re-election, and vowed to levy sanctions against the Lukashenko government.
The U.S. backs independent international examinations of “electoral irregularities” in Belarus’ presidential election, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will visit Vilnius and Russia this week for talks on Belarus and the fallout of the election, Lithuania’s foreign ministry announced.
Deputy Secretary Biegun will travel to Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, and Austria to discuss regional issues and other key U.S. priorities August 24-28.
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) August 23, 2020
The international community has implicitly warned Russia for intervening in the Belarus crisis.
Tens of thousands of Lithuanians linked arms, stretching 19 miles, on Sunday in solidarity with the people of neighboring Belarus — who have been holding mass demonstrations against authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko since the disputed presidential election.
Authorities in Belarus blamed the United States of fomenting the unrest, detained protesters, activists, and journalists as the Viasna Human Rights Center reported over sixty persons in various cities of Belarus on alleged criminal charges.
At least 6,700 people have been arrested days after protesters descended on the nation’s capital and the other Belarusian cities, demanding the government’s resignation. Belarusian armed forces took detainees into KGB prison or in the Interior Ministry’s pre-trial prison in Minsk.
“Firearms have been used on protesters,” the officials confirmed.
In 1990, Belarus – as a landlocked eastern European country — officially declared sovereignty from the Soviet Union, and chose in 1996 to move the holiday to July 3.
Belarus, where has hosted foreign tourists and students for years, now faces unrest following the disputed election that its repressive rulers asked armed forces to raid peaceful demonstrators and opened a criminal investigation into the opposition’s Coordination Council, whose fellows seek new elections and a peaceful transition of power.
Lukashenko rejected the idea of holding another election. He vowed to tackle the unrest.
Tikhanovskaya emphasized that Belarusians would never accept the current leadership again after the crackdown on the post-election uprising.
The Institute of Capacity Building for Political Studies (ICBPS)
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