Belarus unrest, Opposition appeals to EU as summit begins
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the exiled opposition leader in Belarus, spoke from Lithuania yesterday appealing to her followers and urging them to recognize current ruler Alexander Lukashenko’s illegitimacy due to skewed elections that occurred just a few weeks ago. The opposition party has begun appealing to the EU ahead of its scheduled summit. The official results of Belarus’s elections that kept Lukashenko in power after 26 years of rule revealed that he received 80% of the vote, however, Belarusians disputed these numbers.
The elections sparked 10 days of street protests and strikes that are ongoing. Lukashenko has since rejected calls for another election, however, others claim that his rule is illegitimate due to a massive vote-rigging campaign. Amid deadly clashes with the police, thousands of protestors have been arrested.