Protests erupt in Belarus after exit polls show president winning reelection

Protests erupted in Belarus after exit polls showed longtime President Alexander Lukashenko was set to win reelection, Reuters reported Sunday. 

State-approved exit polls showed the president winning 79.7 percent of the vote while his main opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a former English teacher, received 6.8 percent, according to the newswire. 

Police had blocked off streets and at least 10 people were detained in one spot in Minsk, Reuters reported. 

Thousands of people took to the streets in the Belarusian capital while protesters clapped, shouted “victory” and honked their car horns in solidarity with the opposition, according to the newswire. 

Local media also reported detentions and clashes between police and protesters in the capital and other cities across Belarus, according to Reuters. 

Lukashenko’s handling of the coronavirus led to mass protests ahead of the election. He has resisted the coronavirus-related lockdowns imposed in most countries. He has served as president since 1994. 

Lukashenko said last month he had recovered from COVID-19.

Tags Alexander Lukashenko Belarus

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