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Belarus election: Protesters clash with police after Contested presidential vote

Police and protesters clashed after police in Belarus said longtime authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko had probably won the presidential elections.

Belarus’ central election commission said Patriots President Lukashenko was forward in five areas with approximately 82 percent of the vote following a tense election marked by a crackdown on attorneys and widespread protests.

Honest individuals, an independent institution in Belarus that monitors elections, stated it discovered 5096 offenses from observers.

They also called in to question that the election commission’s documented turnout statistics. The team explained about 70 election observers were arrested.

Since polling stations closed, multiple net providers dropped routing, based on net watchdog Netblocks, which stated the online disturbance was prevalent.

The majority of Minsk was closed down by authorities and army, probably in a bid to prevent protests.

Several Belarusian telegram stations reported that at particular polling stations, main opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was forward of Lukashenko.

Earlier in the afternoon Lukashenko allegedly warned opposition protesters, saying: “if you are likely to go from our nation, or even in the tiniest way attempt to plunge the nation into chaos and destabilize it, then you are going to get an instant response from me,” according to AP.

Founded closed in Belarus in 19:00 CET but unemployment lasted as people were queuing from the capital city, Minsk. Photographs showed people queuing outside polling stations, which police blamed on opposition political strategists.

On the eve of election night, police detained the campaign director of primary opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya, that just became a candidate after her husband had been detained.

Another individual near the effort, Veronika Tsepkalo, fled Moscow.

The Central Election Commission at Belarus explained there was a 79 percent turnout from 6:00 pm CET.

The head of the election commission Lidia Yermoshina predicted the presidential candidates to take defeat peacefully, to congratulate the winner rather than”agitate” the masses.

Official results are expected to be announced on Monday for the first round of this election. A candidate must get more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright in the first round.

But experts hope the election is going to be called for Lukashenko regardless of the real outcomes.

Checkpoints were placed across Minsk’s most important street intersections and government buildings have been trashed as protests could occur later throughout the day.

The election campaign was contested by weeks of protests throughout the nation and countless detentions.

Several possible opposition candidates were barred from running – most importantly, Victor Babariko, who had been detained amid fraud charges, also Valery Tsepkalo, following several signatures he collected were invalidated from the electoral commission.

International observers are also worried about the fairness of the electoral procedure following the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), a global body which assesses the equity of elections, also announced that it was pulling from a planned mission to the eastern European state because of a late invitation from the Belarusian government, leaving, according to specialists and human rights activists, no plausible observers overseeing the election.

Observer group Honest People advised Euronews more than individuals are arrested since the voting started in the nation.