As far as the opposition is concerned the official results are not the end of the matter. Their leader Alexander Milinkevich, who was credited with 6 percent of the vote, has called on people to mass on the streets of Minsk to follow on from last night’s demonstrations.
He said what took place in Belarus was “not an election but a constitutional coup.” He added that Lukashenko had no right to stand again because the referendem that allowed him to do so was “not legitimate”.
Some 10,000 opposition supporters massed in the city centre after polls closed, defying warnings from the authorities.
It was an unprecedented turnout in the tightly controlled former Soviet state.
Protesters waved the red-and-white national flag long which has been banned by Lukashenko
With one opposition figure calling for a rally 10 times larger than last night’s tensions are set to remain high in the country.