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Belarus Opposition Files Appeal Against Presidential Election With Supreme Court

Rogue Valley

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Belarus Opposition Files Appeal Against Presidential Election With Supreme Court

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8/21/20
MINSK -- Belarusian opposition candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has filed an official complaint against the results of the August 9 presidential election, saying her compatriots "will never accept" the leadership of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka again. Demonstrations and strikes have erupted across Belarus over the past 13 days in protest at what many have called a "rigged" presidential election in which Lukashenka claimed a landslide reelection victory -- posing the biggest challenge to his 26-year rule. "It should be clear to the president that there is a need for change. I hope that good sense prevails and the people will be heard and there will be new elections," Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on August 21 at her first press conference since fleeing to Lithuania last week after a disputed presidential election. Tsikhanouskaya told reporters in Vilnius that she plans to return to Belarus "when I feel safe there." Tsikhanouskaya's lawyer Maksim Znak on August 21 filed a complaint with the Belarusian Supreme Court requesting the election be ruled invalid. "A complaint has been submitted. A decision on when to start proceedings is due within three days," Znak, a leading member of the opposition's Coordination Council, said on August 21.

Tsikhanouskaya ran in the August 9 election after other potential candidates, including her husband, were jailed or exiled prior to the election during a crackdown on the opposition. Official results gave her about 10 percent of the vote, but she claims to have actually received between 60 and 70 percent. Tsikhanouskaya has joined with some strike leaders, opposition activists, and cultural figures to form a Coordination Council aimed at negotiating a transition of power with the Belarusian government.

Since Lukashenka appointed every member of the Belarus Supreme Court, this election appeal will go nowhere.

Related: RFE/RL Correspondents Detained In Minsk, Expelled From Belarus
 
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