VIDEO/Protests Sparked in Belarus After Two of Lukashenko’s Rivals Were Barred from Running in the Presidential Elections
In Belarus, two representatives of the opposition, Victor Babaryko and Valery Tsepkalo were barred from running in the presidential elections. Babaryko and Tsepkalo were two heavyweight candidates, having the highest chances to compete against the current President Alexandr Lukashenko, who has been in power for more than 26 years. After the two candidates were excluded, protests sparked in Belarus.
On June 14, 2020, Belarus’ Central Election Commission decided to exclude Babaryko, the main rival of Lukashenko, from the presidential race. Previously, Tsepkalo, another heavyweight candidate, was excluded from the presidential race.
Meanwhile, the commission registered Lukashenko without any problems. Immediately after hearing the news, people began to gather on the streets of the capital of Belarus, but also of the main cities of the country.
The commission’s decision sparked protests in Minsk and other cities in Belarus.
According to the Belarusian media, the demonstrations were not organized by any political force. The protesters gathered on the streets of the main cities of Belarus. At the same time, the authorities deployed large contingents of policemen and members of the special forces.
During the protests, there were several incidents between protesters and policemen. Human rights organizations recorded more than 200 detentions, including many journalists, bloggers, and minors. The images with the incidents were massively distributed on social networks.
Representatives of the opposition have already announced that they will challenge the decision of the electoral commission and demand the registration of all opposition candidates.
The Belarusian elections are set to take place on August 9, 2020.
The regime of Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, is facing the most severe crisis of this period. Several mass protests against the power have taken place in recent months, and several political analysts claim that its popularity has fallen to an unprecedented level. Lukashenko, who is in his fifth term as president, accuses foreign influences in Minsk’s domestic politics and says that both the East and the West want to overthrow him.