Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected after winning the presidential election by a landslide, according to the central election commission on Monday.
The election was marred by late night clashes between the police and thousands of protestors, with the protestors claiming that the vote was rigged.
According to the numbers published by the election commission on Monday, Lukashenko won the election after a staggering 80% voted for him.
Official data showed that Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, a former English teacher that became Lukashenko’s main rival after rising from the unknown, won just 9.9% of the vote.
During the protests, at least one person was killed after being knocked over by a police van, with plenty of others being injured in the clashes that arose after polling stations closed on Sunday, according to a representative of Spring 96, a group that supports the people’s rights.
Lukashenko is a former Soviet collective farm manager, and has ruled Belarus since 1994, yet is now facing one of his biggest challenges in his whole political career, with plenty of voters believing that it is now time for him to step down and be replaced.
Several people have voiced their anger towards Lukashenko, particularly through his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his management of the economy and how he views human rights.
Tikhanouskaya joined the presidential race after her husband, who was an anti-governmental blogger who intended to enter the race, was jailed for breaching public order.
Ever since she announced her candidacy, her rallies have attracted some of the biggest crowds in Belarus since the fall of the Soviet Union back in 1991.
Foreign observers have claimed that elections in Belarus have not been free and fair since 1995, which is coincidentally the whole period in which Lukashenko has ruled over the country.
Russia has tried to force Belarus into having a more united economy and political vision, and these protests could hurt Lukashenko’s chances of trying to mend the country’s relations with Europe and Russia.
According to human rights groups, more than 1,300 people were detained ahead of the election, with these being independent election observers and crucial members of Tikhanouskaya’s campaign team.
After casting his vote on Sunday, Lukashenko completely dismissed claims that such repressive measures were taken, claiming that they are “fake news or far-fetched accusations”.