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Belarus’ President Lukashenko to stand for re-election in 2025

February 25, 2024
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks in this file photo.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko speaks in this file photo.

MINSK — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says he will run for another term in elections set to be held in 2025, a move likely to extend the long rule of a key ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Lukashenko, while speaking to journalists at a polling station after voting in parliamentary and local council elections, was asked whether he planned to stand in the next contest.

“Tell them I will,” he said, Belarusian state news agency BelTA reported on Sunday.

“The harder [the opposition] try, the more likely I will bid for re-election. Don’t worry, we will do everything necessary for Belarus,” he added.

Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, will be confident of winning again, with votes in Belarus widely seen as neither free nor fair.

Reacting to the news on Sunday, opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya wrote on X: “Lukashenka says he will be running for president again? Com’n. Just coronate yourself. No one will be fooled anyway.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Lukashenko has deepened ties with Putin, and Belarus — a former Soviet nation — has become a key ally and strategic partner in the fight, with Russian forces using Belarus as a launch pad for invading Kyiv.

Called “Europe’s last dictator,” Lukashenko brokered a deal with Yevgeny Prigozhin to stop Prigozhin’s Wagner group from marching on Moscow in June 2023.

The last presidential vote, in 2020, triggered riots when preliminary results showed Lukashenko had won in a landslide victory.

Observers and the opposition said there was widespread ballot stuffing and falsifications.

Tihkhanovskaya demanded a recount after the country’s Central Election Commission announced Lukashenko had won with 80.23% of the vote, while Tikhanovskaya stood at 9.9%.

Around 3,000 people were detained and dozens injured during subsequent clashes with police.

Since then there has been a crackdown on dissent, with many opposition figures thrown into jail or exiled. — CNN


February 25, 2024
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