MINSK, January 11. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the democratic processes in the republic are developing normally, unlike in Western states. Lukashenko made this statement on Monday during a meeting with President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel.
"Protesters and other dissatisfied people do not storm government offices and capitols here. We have a perfectly normal situation in terms of democratic processes. This is the main reason why some politicians in Europe are discontent with Belarus," Lukashenko said, quoted by the BelTA news agency. "They want to accuse me of defending my country and people, but this is why the people elected me. I have an obligation to ensure public, internal and external security of people and the state. Maybe some in the West do not like my actions in this regard, but this is up to them."
Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.
A number of European states and the US do not recognize the results of the Belarusian election, deeming the actions of the local law enforcement against the protesters too tough. Due to this, a number of Western states slapped sanctions on Belarus.