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Tags: Belarus | Election | Anniversary

Belarus Leader Accuses Opposition of Plotting a Coup

Monday, 09 August 2021 06:00 AM

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus' authoritarian leader on Monday charged that the opposition was plotting a coup in the runup to last year's presidential election that triggered a monthslong wave of mass protests demanding his resignation.

President Alexander Lukashenko held his annual press conference on Monday, the one-year anniversary of the vote that handed him a sixth term in office but was denounced by the opposition and the West as rigged.

In his opening remarks, Lukashenko defended the election and accused the opposition of preparing a coup.

“We back then carried out preparation for the election and the election itself in the conditions of total transparency and democratization of political life,” Lukashenko said. “The difference was only that some were preparing for fair election, and others called for bashing the authorities — for a coup.”

Belarus was shaken by months of protests triggered by Lukashenko’s re-election, the largest of which drew up to 200,000 people. Belarusian authorities responded to the protests with a relentless crackdown that saw more than 35,000 people arrested and thousands beaten by police. Leading opposition figures have been jailed or forced to leave the country.

Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus with an iron fist for 27 years, has denounced his opponents as foreign stooges and accused the U.S. and its allies of plotting to overthrow his government.

The authorities have ramped up their crackdown on dissent in recent weeks, targeting independent journalists and democracy activists in hundreds of raids.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Belarus' authoritarian leader on Monday charged that the opposition was plotting a coup in the runup to last year's presidential election that triggered a monthslong wave of mass protests demanding his resignation. President Alexander Lukashenko held his annual press...
Belarus,Election,Anniversary
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2021-00-09
Monday, 09 August 2021 06:00 AM
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