MINSK, August 9. /TASS/. Clashes between protesters and riot police began in central Minsk on Sunday evening, a TASS correspondent reported from the site.
About 300 young people gathered here after most of the polling stations closed in Minsk. A number of the protesters were detained. Several dozens of the protesters tried to have then freed but retreated.
The police are trying to driver the protesters off the Victory Monument in central Minsk without using force. The protesters are clapping their hands and chanting "Shame!" Cars are honking when driving by. Groups of 40-50 young people are trying to get inside the cordoned area. Some have been detained. More people are coming. The police stopped traffic along the central Independence Avenue and adjacent streets after a motor rally of protest.
A motor rally of protest against the results of voting at Sunday’s presidential elections also began in Minsk after the release of exit poll results indicating the victory of incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko.
According to a TASS correspondent, dozens of honking cars are driving along the central Independence Avenue. Police are not stopping them. People walking along the avenue are not stopped either. However shops, typically open until 23:00, are closed.
On Sunday, Belarus held its sixth presidential election since declaring independence in 1991. The incumbent head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, 65, is seeking his sixth term. According to the country’s Central Election Commission, the voter turnout was 79.01% as of 18:00 local time. Voting took place at 5,767 polling station, including 44 abroad. As many as 6.8 million Belarusian nationals are eligible to vote.
According to the results of a telephone exit poll conducted by Ecoom, an analytical center, Lukashenko is winning 78.9%, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya - 7.1%, Anna Kanopatskaya - 2.1%, Sergei Cherchen - 0.8%, Andrei Dmitriyev - 0.9%, against all - 10.2%.
According to another exit poll conducted by the CROO BKMO Youth Laboratory of Sociological Studies at the request of the Mir television channel, Lukashenko is winning 79.7% of votes. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is winning 6.8% of votes. Anna Kanopatskaya is scoring 2.3% of votes, Andrei Dmitriyev - 1.1%, and Sergei Cherchen - 0.9% As many as 9.2% of voters were against all.
The elections were declared valid after the voter turnout exceeded 50%