Alexander Lukashenko, the 61-year-old pro-Russia autocrat has won the presidential elections in Belarus for the fifth time, continuing his 20-year rule. Lukashenko secured 83.5% of the vote in the landslide victory.
Lidia Yermoshina, chairwoman of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, said that Mr Lukashenko garnered 83.5% in Sunday’s vote. His closest contender trailed behind with less than 5%.
Lukashenko’s re-election five years ago led to mass protests and the imprisonment of leading opposition figures, but support for his 20-year-old regime has risen since he cast himself as a guarantor of stability in the face of an economic crisis and a pro-Russian separatist conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
Opposition activists cast doubt on the high turnout, more than 87%, as reported by authorities.
“The election commissions made up the results as they wished,” opposition leader Anatoly Lebedko claimed.
“We have carried out everything the West wanted on the eve of the elections. If there is a desire in the West to improve our relations, nobody and nothing can prevent that,” Lukashenko said as he cast his vote.
“The ball is now firmly in the West’s court,” he said.