Elections took place in Belarus on Sunday. In the evening it was announced that President Lukashenko, also called the “last dictator in Europe”, can enter is 6th term after a great majority voted for him.
The “elections” were secured by military which started to swarm capital Minsk during Sunday. The city was temporarily completely locked down. There were internet outages and government critical pages were not accessible. There were reports of the detainment of opponents and government critical journalists and activists.
Independent election observers were not allowed and only a government related polling institute announced the official results which diverted greatly from independent sources. While Lukashenko was the clear winner for the former, the latter saw Tichanowskaja, his opponent, ahead. She is the wife of the formerly excluded and then detained opposing candidate, calling for free and fair elections during her campaign
By night fall the people took to the streets. There are reports of police and military violence. Even though Lukashenko openly assumes that by today everything will be back to normal the smoldering peaceful protests which built up during the last weeks have not subsided.
We declare our solidarity with the protests against the autocratic system where democratic elections are a farce since years. All political prisoners must be released. The fundamental rights to free speech and freedom of assembly must not be trampled on any longer.
Heinz Bierbaum, President of the European Left