In an attempt to regain the initiative after more than two months of protests have failed to achieve any tangible results, the opposition in Belarus has announced that a national strike will begin on Monday.
The opposition presidential candidate from the elections held on the 9th of August, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, stated on Sunday that a national strike would begin on Monday.
According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, President Alexander Lukashenko obtained just over 80% of the vote held in August. His closest rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, received just over 10%.
However, Tikhanovskaya refused to recognize the election’s outcome and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the election results were announced, mass protests erupted in Minsk and other Belarusian cities.
Tikhanovskaya had previously declared a “People’s Ultimatum” for President Alexander Lukashenko to resign by Sunday night.
The ultimatum also demanded that all ‘political prisoners’ be released, and the cessation of violence.
“Tomorrow, on October 26, a nationwide strike will begin in Belarus. Belarusians will make this step because their word is a law. A law they tried to deprive us of but we will reinstate it without fail. And our key peaceful weapon – solidarity – will help us,” Tikhanovskaya stated on Sunday.
The opposition is calling on all workers of industrial enterprises to go on strike from Monday.
The call followed more clashes between protestors and police on Sunday. Protestors denounced the use of stun grenades by police.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies will continue to take all actions necessary to stop protesters from engaging in unlawful actions, head of the Minsk police Ivan Kubrakov said, commenting on the police actions conducted during the protests on Sunday.
Kubrakov stated that more aggressive protestors travelled to Minsk to participate in the protests on Sunday, and that they attempted to seize the centre of Minsk, or the Independence Avenue.
Kubrakov added that the police prevented them from achieving their objective.
“Protesters attacked a police station in the central district of Minsk. They started throwing stones at the security service transport. Police officers took measures to prevent illegal actions and used riot control means and physical force…
Officers of the interior affairs agencies were in control of everything, and the crowd of protesters failed to make it to the Independence Square.”
The participants in the attack on the police station and the unrest in other areas of the city were detained, and overall approximately 120 people were arrested on Sunday and two police officers were injured. LINK
The ongoing protests are also being encouraged by the opposition Coordination Council, and they are receiving high profile coverage and support from Western governments and media.
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