Belarus to hold presidential election on 9 August

The parliament of Belarus on Friday set 9 August as the date for the country's next presidential election, news wires reported. The 65-year-old President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million since 1994, announced last year that he will run for another mandate. It  will be his sixth consecutive term in office.

The US and the European Union have regularly criticized Belarusian authorities for flawed elections and stifling the opposition. Last year's parliamentary election excluded the opposition, with all 110 parliament seats going to former government functionaries, diplomats and members of pro-government parties.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said at the time that “fundamental freedoms were disregarded and the integrity of the election process was not adequately safeguarded."

Belarus has more than 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 116 deaths, but Lukashenko has publicly said the danger was exaggerated.

 

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