(KDRTV)-Further walkouts are awaited in Belarus after a weekend which saw tens of thousands of people protesting to demand an exit of long-term President Alexander Lukashenko
KDRTV notes that opposition leaders declared strikes as anger simmers over reports of police brutality as well as alleged poll-rigging in the 9 August vote
This is underway as President Lukashenko seemingly has remained defiant and instead called on his supporters to defend the country and its independence
Media houses have described the recent peaceful demonstrations as “the largest in the history of independent Belarus”
The protests were prompted by the announcement by the Central Election Commission that Mr. Lukashenko who has been in power since 1994 won the elections at 80.1 % and the main opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had 10.12%
Ms. Tikhanovskaya who fled the country after publicly criticizing the results affirms that where votes were counted accurately, she was a victor ranging from 60% to 70 %
So fat, some 6, 700 people have been arrested in the wake of the election and many have complained of torture from the security personnel
Many people employed by government firms seemed to be on strike; including State TV staff.
However, Mr. Lukashenko said Belarus would “die as a state” if a re-run election would take place.
“You came here so that for the first time in a quarter-century you could defend your country, your independence, your wives, sisters and children,” he said.
KDRTV also noted that a number of officials as well as current and former police officers have resigned.
President Lukashenko is also facing pressure from the international community such as European Countries.
On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron informed that EU should “continue to mobilise on the side of the hundreds of thousands of Belarusians who are protesting peacefully for the respect of their rights, liberty and sovereignty”.
Germany`s Vice-Chancellor Olaf Sholz also described Lukashenko as a bad dictator saying he had lost legitimacy
Pope Francis also called upon the authorities to respected justice and rights of people during protests