Women lead protests in Belarus to condemn election
Women dressed in white have been forming human chains to protest the result of the election in Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner with 80% of the vote, in an election process that has been widely condemned both nationally and overseas as unfair. Lukashenko, who has held power for 26 years, was opposed by three female candidates, two of whom, including main opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya have fled Belarus for fears over their safety. Tikhanovskaya believes that had the votes been counted properly she would have won between 60 and 70% of the vote.
Since the result was declared protests broke out, eliciting a violent response from the police. In response to the brutality, hundreds of women took to the streets several days in a row, bearing flowers or waving white flags in the air. This was followed by Sunday’s March for Freedom where tens of thousands of people took part in the biggest protest the country has ever seen.
Speaking from exile via a video message, Tikhanovskaya said she is ready to become a “national leader” to restore calm, free political prisoners and prepare for new elections.
Source: BBC News