Belarus has elected President Alexander Lukashenko for a fifth term in office.
Officials claim he secured close to 84 percent of the vote from an 87 percent turnout.
Dubbed by the US as ‘Europe’s last dictator’ and derided over his human rights record the West has imposed economic sanctions on some Belarusian officials and companies.
However his perceived pro-Ukraine stance is winning him new friends in the US and EU.
Nikolay Veremeev is a political analyst in Belarus:“Sanctions have never been the right solution to any problem; only through communication can we promote cooperation. We’re happy with the news on possibly suspending EU sanctions towards Belarus, it is the first step in the right direction.”
Despite a clampdown on political dissent some protesters managed to demonstrate in Minsk carrying banners calling for Lukashenko to go:
“President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected himself. He chose the opponents himself. He allowed them to oppose him. And he decided himself the number of votes he would win the election by.”
In the last Belarus election in 2010 seven of the nine presidential
candidates were arrested.