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The Belarus Election (by Private)

Belarus is a country most people don't know much about, and it rarely gets much attention in international news. However, that has changed recently because of the presidential election they held earlier this year on August 9th. According to the official results, the current president Alexander Lukashenko won in a landslide, but independent studies have found that the result most likely should have been the complete opposite. Many people therefore don't believe in the result and has called for Lukasjenko to step down. There has been massive protest, and in relation to that, countless documented instances of violation of human rights. 

A Belarus Overview
Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, and it borders Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The country is 207,600 square kilometres, and the capital city is Minsk. In the 20th century, Belarus was a part of the Sovjet Union until it declared its independence on August 25th, 1991.

The current president of Belarus is Alexander Lukashenko, who has held the title for the last 26 years. His policy has generally been about returning to a society that was similar to the Sovjet times, and therefore many of the older generations have supported him, as he was similar to what they were used to. Far from everyone likes him, however, and he is often referred to as Europe's last dictator, as the regime is filled with corruption, poverty and violation of human rights. 

The Election
The presidential election this year in Belarus created quite a stir. Lukashenko's main opposition came in the form of a 38-year-old previously unknown woman by the name of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Her only political goal was to release all political prisoners and then get a new, fair, election. The only reason she even decided to run for president was because her husband, who is a blogger and a big part of the opposition, was jailed along with the other main opposition candidate, while the third candidate fled the country with his family to avoid that fate. 

Tikhanovskaya gained massive popularity with the Belarus people who wanted to see some change as well. However, the official election results showed a victory with 80% of the votes to Lukashenko and only 9.9% for Tikhanovskaya. She, along with great parts of the population and the international community has refused to believe in this result, and independent studies have found that the results most likely were the exact opposite with a huge victory for Tikhanovskaya, and they counted multiple instances of election fraud. 

The After
Lukashenko remains the official president, and the military and police are loyal to him. This has played a very important part in keeping him in power so far. After Tikhanovskaya declared that she did not believe in the election result, she was brought in for a talk with the police and afterwards fled the country with her children. 

Great parts of the population has been protesting the result ever since the election in mostly peaceful mass demonstrations. The response to these demonstrations, however, was far from peaceful. The military has been allowed to use everything from combat weapons  and shock grenades to water cannons against the protesters, and they have cracked down hard on the demonstrants. Thousands were arrested, and many of those could tell horror stories about their treatment when they were released and have scars or violent bruises to show, if not worse. 

The Future
Despite the election being more than two months ago, the protests against the result are still going strong, and especially the next few days are going to be very interesting. Tikhanovskaya has remained the leader of the opposition, and she has spent much of her time talking with European leaders about the situation to get them to help. The EU has officially declared that they do not accept the election result. Tikhanovskaya has also announced a country-wide strike that will start tomorrow (October 26th), if president Lukashenko hasn't resigned, stopped the violence and released all political prisoners by tonight (October 25th). If he hasn't stepped down by then, all shops will close and government shops will be forced closed. The plan is to block all roads as well. So far, the chances of Lukashenko stepping down seems small, and as a result, more than 100.000 people have been demonstrating tonight (October 25th) in the capital city Minsk alone. Never before in modern Belarus history have as many people protested against their president as they have done against Lukashenko this year. And while it will most likely still take some time, many are optimistic that Lukashenko's regime will finally fall. 

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Private wrote on 27-10 16:56:
Meowmere wrote:
good luck, Belarus  hope you will get your democracy.
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Cimorene wrote on 26-10 14:44:
Cimorene wrote:
Libertas wrote:
I'm looking forward to the day we can live in a world with equality and democracy. Hopefully, one day it will be a reality...  
Me too. It is really sad that there is such a long way to go yet... 
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Libertas wrote on 26-10 12:32:
Libertas wrote:
I'm looking forward to the day we can live in a world with equality and democracy. Hopefully, one day it will be a reality...  
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Cimorene wrote on 25-10 22:48:
Cimorene wrote:
Important things are happening in a country I personally did not know much about until a week ago. It is going to be very interesting to see what will happen in Belarus in the near future. 

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