• Monday, 10 June 2024

Belarus holds elections for first time since fraught 2022 poll

Belarus holds elections for first time since fraught 2022 poll

Moscow, 25 February 2024 (dpa/MIA) - For the first time since the fraught presidential election in the summer of 2020 and the ensuing mass protests, authoritarian-led Belarus is holding nationwide elections on Sunday.

 

In addition to 110 members of the national parliament, around 12,000 representatives of local assemblies are to be elected.

 

The elections are considered manipulated, as officials surrounding long-term ruler Alexander Lukashenko did not invite independent election observers.

 

According to observers, the 69-year-old Lukashenko primarily wants to use the vote to show that he is in full control after the protests three and a half years ago.

 

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya, who fled abroad, emphasized on Thursday that the elections had nothing to do with democracy.

 

"It's a farce, it's a show, it's a circus, but it's not a choice," Tichanovskaya asserted. She also referred to the many political prisoners in Belarus. Human rights activists put the number at more than 1,400.


In August 2020, Lukashenko, who has been in office since 1994, was again declared the winner of the presidential election. The opposition, however, saw Tikhanovskaya as the real winner.

 

The EU also no longer recognizes Lukashenko as head of state. In the weeks after the election there were mass protests, which were brutally suppressed by the power apparatus. More than 35,000 people were arrested at that time.

 

Lukashenko is considered to be completely dependent on Russia and Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

 

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