Lukashenka Claims Victory Amid Police Crackdown


20 December 2010

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has won a fourth term in office in an election marred by violence and claims of massive falsification.

The head of the Central Election Commission, Lidiya Yermoshina, announced that Lukashenka won a decisive first-round victory with nearly 80 percent of the vote.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's observer mission in Belarus says it found serious flaws in the vote, saying the ballot "failed to give Belarus the new start it needed" after authorities arrested at least seven of the nine opposition candidates.

OSCE mission chief Tony Lloyd said the Belarusian government must account for the arrests of presidential candidates, journalists, and human rights activists. He said it was impossible to make a more positive assessment because of a "flawed vote count" and a "heavy-handed response" to the rally after the vote.

He also said the Central Election Commission "lacked impartiality."

"The people of Belarus deserved better," he said.

The sweeping vote returns were accompanied by brutal violence, as police and security forces clashed with opposition demonstrators, beating and arresting hundreds of people.

Protesters accused authorities of orchestrating massive electoral fraud in order to ensure Lukashenka's win. Several independent polls showed the longtime leader with just 30 percent support, suggesting he would not have been able to clear the 50-percent hurdle needed for a clear first-round victory.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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