The 2020 presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus on August 9th. Tens of thousands of Belarusian citizens have taken the streets because of Anti- Governmental rallies. The rallies have been names the “March for Freedom”. The president addressed another pro-government rally and denied calls for an election rerun.
Political Turmoil in Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko has been referred to as the last dictator of Europe on many occasions. The president now 65 was elected in 1994. In 2015 he was declared the winner with an 83.5% vote. He did not face any strong opposing candidate in the 2015 elections. President Alexander Lukashenko has been set to declare his landslide victory in the 2020 presidential elections. The opposition was lead by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. She entered the presidential race instead of her husband, who was jailed. The elections took place amidst the growing signs of frustration against Alexander Lukashenko’s leadership. The exit polls on the media show the landslide victory of Alexander Lukashenko. There have been accusations of a rigged voting system. The elections in Belarus have not been judged by foreign observers since the 1995 elections. The opposition leader has large lead rallies against the same. The protestors have clashed with the police leading to widespread arrests.
The European Union stated in their press release that they have been following the political developments in Belarus. The European Union condemned the detainment of thousands of people who participated in the rallies. The Belarus officials also put a nationwide crackdown on the freedom of assembly, media, and expression. The Union outright stated that the people of Belarus “deserved better”.
The EU stated that “It is against this background that we will be assessing the Belarusian authorities’ actions to address the current situation and conducting an in-depth review of the EU’s relations with Belarus”. They also included that the EU will take measures against those responsible for the observed violence, unjustified arrests, and falsification of election results.
The EU and Belarus have had an improved relationship since the release of political prisoners in 2015. But considering the present state of affairs in Belarus, the EU has expressed its views on the obstacles that will arise.
Implications of the Sanction
The Sanctions to be enforced require an agreement by all 27 EU member states. This is an imminent obstacle for any move against Belarus in the way of sanctions. Sanctions have been placed on Belarus a few times before successfully. The people of Belarus are urging for strict sanctions to be placed on the situation by their protests. The Polish Prime Minister called for a special summit of EU leaders to come up with a package for Belarus.
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