20 March 2006
Lukashenko wins by a landslide
Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko (pictured) is on his way to claiming a landslide victory in elections according to government-approved exit polls, which indicated he had collected more than 84% of the vote. Oppositionists claim the results were rigged and 5,000 people defied government warnings and gathered in a main central square in Minsk. The Wall Street Journal Europe reports that oppositionists had their websites blocked yesterday and police were also hindering travel to the capital, in a bid to keep the protests from gathering strength.
It is important now that the West issues a quick and widespread condemnation of the voting process. As I discussed yesterday we have a part to play and the Guardian has today taken up the cause.