Belarus election tensions erupt as president poised for victory – Army descend on capital
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Alexander Lukashenko has been President of the state since 1994 and is looking to beat out challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya amid an election which has been shrouded by controversy. Despite many speculating the President could lose the election, polling data has stated he will cruise to a landslide victory according to preliminary results showing a victory of 82 percent to Ms Tikhanovskaya’s seven. With the possibility of protests against the incumbent President if he wins re-election, Belarus news website MBK has reported a plane associated with Mr Lukashenka has left the country.
Using tracking data, they a showed Bombardier Challenger 850 liner associated with the family had touched down in Turkey today.
This comes as more than 60 people were detained by police across the country according to human rights centre, Viasna on Sunday.
Since the start of the election, the centre has reported more than 2,000 people have been detained.
Ms Tikhanovskaya’s team even reported that her campaign manager had been arrested and would not be released until Monday.
Her own husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky had even been arrested after attempting to register as a candidate.
Some have pointed to the long queues seen at several voting stations while protestors have also begun to emerge in the capital of Minsk this evening.
With the large numbers of protests expected if the President does indeed win re-election, videos have emerged on social media showing large numbers of army vehicles descending on the capital.
There have also been reports of poor internet connectivity thus hindering the reporting of news and results in the country.
JUST IN: Belarus election results: Who is the winner of the 2020 race?
Commenting on the polling data, commentator and Belarus expert Olga Dryndova, questioned the validity of the result.
She said: “Few will believe in 80% once again.
“Will Belarusians protest?
“Currently not much information from Belarus due to problems with the internet.”
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Mr Lukashenko has faced severe criticism over his handling of the coronavirus outbreak and his inability to develop the economy.
However, after voting today he insisted his opponent was not a threat.
He said: “They are not worth enough to carry out any repression against them.”
His opponent, in contrast, was greeted with cheers and she placed her vote.
She said: “I really want the election to be honest, because if the authorities have nothing to fear, if all the people are for Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, then we will agree with that.”
In the last vote in 2015, the President won with 83.5 percent of the vote as there were no serious challengers.
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