Belarus’ opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has fled to Lithuania, after the country’s August 9 presidential elections showed long-time ruler Aleksander Lukashenko winning a sixth term.
The news about the 37-year-old teacher and Belarus’ hope to change the status quo, were announced on Tuesday by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, through a Twitter post.
— Linas Linkevicius (@LinkeviciusL) August 11, 2020
Tikhanovskaya left Belarus after she publicly rejected the outcome of a “rigged” election, that gave Lukashenko over 80% of the vote, filing a complaint for the recount of the votes.
Her children had left the country prior to the elections, due to safety reasons.
“No one life is worth what is happening,” Tikhanovskaya said in a video posted on Youtube before her departure for Lithuania. “Children are the most important things in our lives,” she added.
Massive protests have been shaking the capital, Minsk, since Sunday evening, when a state-TV exit poll predicted a landslide victory for Lukashenko, who has been running the country since 1994. Thousands took the streets of the capital asking for fair elections, and at least one person has been left dead from the violent clashes with the police.
Tikhanovskaya, who stood in for her husband as an opposition candidate after he was jailed in the run-up to the vote was reportedly ahead in dozens of polling stations across the country, however, Belarus’ Central Electoral Committee (CEC) only gave her 9.9% of the votes.
On Monday, Lithuania’s ambassador to the EU, Jovita Neliupsiene called on Europe to declare Belarus’ presidential vote a fraud and to support those “fighting for the right to vote.”