Belarus

Belarus reelects Alexander Lukashenko as president; Svetlana Tikhanovskaya flees to Lithuania

Alexander Lukashenko, 65, will serve as the president of the Republic of Belarus again. He won the presidential election of the European country via a landslide victory on August 9, 2020.

A total of 5,798,908 Belarusian citizens cast their ballots, which was 84.23 percent of eligible voters, according to the Central Election Commission of Belarus. Among them, 6.02 percent did not choose any of the presidential candidates.

This will be the sixth term of Lukashenko as the president of Belarus. Seeking reelection, Lukashenko received 4,652,423 votes and defeated Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 37, with 574,312 votes, Anna Kanopatskaya with 97,926 votes, Andrei Dmitriyev with 60,543 votes and Sergei Cherechen with 65,784 votes.

 

Tikhanovskaya is the wife of Siarhei Tsikhanouski, 41, YouTuber and blogger known for his activism against Lukashenko. It was him who originally intended to run for president but when he was arrested and prevented from registering his candidacy, she took over.

Several protests took place in Belarus after the reelection of Lukashenko. Tikhanovskaya refused to recognize the election results and fled to Lithuania.

On August 10, 2020, Tikhanovskaya’s whereabouts was unknown. On August 11, 2020, Lithuania’s foreign minister Linas Linkevicius revealed where Tsikhanouski’s wife was and confirmed that she was safe.

“You know, I thought that this whole campaign really had hardened me and given me so much strength that I could handle anything but probably, I’m still the weak woman I was in the first place,” Tikhanovskaya said. “I have made a very difficult decision for myself.”

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the respective presidents of Russia and China, were among the first state leaders outside Belarus to congratulate Lukashenko on his reelection. Leaders of the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have sent their congratulatory messages, as well.

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