We don't recognise Lukashenko as legitimate president: European Union

WION Web Team NEW DELHI Sep 17, 2020, 06.47 AM(IST) Sep 17, 2020, 06.52 AM(IST)

Protests in Belarus over strongman Lukashenko's election Photograph:( Agencies )

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Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, told the European Parliament the August 9 election that returned the veteran strongman to power was fraudulent.

A day after the Belarusian leader was welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, European Union’s diplomatic chief has said that the European Union does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus.

Also read | Thousands of women protest in Belarus demanding Lukashenko's resignation

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, told the European Parliament the August 9 election that returned the veteran strongman to power was fraudulent.

Also read | Belarus protest leader says she was threatened with expulsion 'alive or in bits'

“The situation is clear for us. We consider the elections of August 9 fraudulent. We don’t recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus”, - said Borrell.

Also read | If Belarus falls, Russia will be next, says Lukashenko

He added that more than 7,500 peaceful protesters have been detained and 500 cases of torture have been documented.

Unprecedented demonstrations broke out in Belarus last month after strongman President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet state for 26 years, claimed to have defeated opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and won re-election with 80 percent of the vote on August 9.

Protesters say the election was rigged to hand Lukashenko a phoney landslide win and that Tikhanovskaya - who has since fled to Lithuania - was the real winner.

Thousands of protesters were on the roads, potentially setting the scene for a new show-down with riot police. 

As the demand for change intensifies and reaches even the factories that are the pride of Alexander Lukashenko’s neo-Soviet economy, the authoritarian ruler ends the week clinging on to power in defiance of an ever-broader coalition of opponents. But from the beginning, this has been an uprising inspired and led by women.

(With inputs from agencies)

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