Opposition Leader Flees as Belarus Marred With Post-election Protests


Belarus’ presidential opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has fled to neighboring Lithuania, citing her kids’s security, amid violent protests within the nation following the controversial re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

In a video posted on YouTube on Tuesday, Tikhanovskaya mentioned she had made the “very difficult decision” after receiving nameless threats to her kids.

“You know, I thought that this whole campaign had really toughened me up and given me so much strength that I could handle anything,” Tikhanovskaya mentioned.

“But probably, I’m still the weak woman I was in the first place. I have made a very difficult decision for myself,” she mentioned, additionally urging protesters to not oppose police and to keep away from placing their lives in peril.

“And I know that many people will understand me, many will judge me, and many will hate me. But, you know, God forbid being faced with such a choice that I was faced with,” she mentioned.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius additionally confirmed in a Twitter submit on Tuesday that Tikhanouskaya had traveled to Lithuania.

Tikhanouskaya, 37, who was an English trainer, entered the presidential race after authorities jailed her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky, a well-liked blogger who supposed to run.

Her marketing campaign posed the largest problem in years to Lukashenko, who has dominated the ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million since 1994.

Meanwhile, the scenario remained tense in Belarus for the third consecutive evening amid public fury at Lukashenko’s re-election.

Security forces fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse a thousands-strong crowd rallying towards long-time ruler Lukashenko,and accusing him of manipulating the vote.

Also on Monday evening, fierce scuffles broke out between police and protesters when 1000’s of individuals poured out into the streets of the capital, Minsk, after official outcomes confirmed that Lukashenko had received a sixth consecutive time period, profitable over 80 p.c of the vote. A person misplaced his life in the course of the clashes.

Police used rubber bullets, stun grenades, batons, and tear gasoline to disperse the protesters, who responded with stones and fireworks and arrange makeshift barricades.

Similar unrest and clashes had been reported in different cities as properly.

The disputed election has drawn criticism from the European Union (EU). Germany has referred to as for the re-imposition of EU sanctions on the previous Soviet republic.

Official outcomes confirmed that Tikhanouskaya had garnered merely 10 p.c of the votes. Her assist rallies had drawn tens of 1000’s of supporters throughout the nation.

President Lukashenko can be going through criticism over his dealing with of the coronavirus epidemic and an financial disaster within the nation.

This article has been tailored from its authentic supply.