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Belarus opposition calls mass protest rally

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Belarus opposition calls mass protest rally


Braving the freezing weather and the presence of riot police, protesters in Belarus kept up a vigil for a re-run of a presidential poll they say was flawed. The main opposition leader Alexander Milenkevich is urging supporters to continue to mass in October Square in the capital Minsk, ahead of a major rally on Saturday.

Ambassadors from 11 European countries went to the demonstration yesterday. “We came here just to have a look,” said the French ambassador to Belarus, Stephane Chmelewski. “The national media isn’t saying much about this gathering so as I didn’t have any information I came over to find out what was happening.” British ambassador Brian Beckett said: “We ambassadors are here because we believe in human rights and democratic process. And part of the democratic process is the right of people to express their views, which is very constrained in Belarus.” President Alexander Lukashenko won a third term on Sunday with an official tally of more than 82 per cent of the vote. Milenkevich took six per cent. The EU and US have condemned the poll as flawed and the EU has said it may impose sanctions. Russia, however, says it was fair.
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