Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating again in Belarus on Sunday. Demonstrators marched in Minsk for the refugee opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is trying to bring about a transition of the government from neighboring Lithuania. The protesters think she is the real president.
Opposition claims profit
The demonstrators in the capital Minsk spoke of an “inauguration by the people”, referring to incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko. He was sworn in for his sixth term unannounced last week.
An estimated 50,000 people are demonstrating in Minsk. Demonstrations were also held in other places in the country. The Belarusian security forces acted hard again on Sunday.
At least 53 protesters have already been arrested, according to local media. In the eastern city of Gomel, police deposed, according to the Russian news agency Tass tear gas to disperse the protesters. Squares and streets were cordoned off by military vehicles.
The protesters have been demonstrating against the August 9 elections for seven weeks, with Lukashenko receiving more than 80 percent of the vote, according to the results. Hardly anyone assumes that this result is correct.
The opposition and protesters claim that the main opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya has won. However, according to the official results, she received only 10 percent of the vote.
Almost the entire opposition has now been arrested or fled from the Eastern European country. A Coordination Council, headed by Tikhanovskaya, is now seeking support from abroad for a peaceful power transition.
Lukashenko does not want to hear about this and tries to strengthen his grip on the country by cracking down on the protesters. In addition, he is seeking further support from his Russian counterpart Putin, who has pledged his support to Belarus.
The United Nations, among others, has started an investigation into possible human rights violations in the country.