Lukashenko wins fifth term
As predicted incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko has won a fifth term in office in yesterday’s presidential election.
Lukashenko took 83.49% of the vote according to preliminary results published by the Central Election Commission (CEC). The only real opposition candidate, Tatiana Korotkevich, came second with 4.42%. Sergei Gaidukevich came third with 3.32% and Nikolai Ulakhovich received 1.67%.
Turnout was 86.75% according to the CEC.
The 61 year old president has been making positive noises towards the West in recent times and many are hoping that there will be a thaw in relations with the European Union removing sanctions within a matter of months. Belarus relies heavily on the Russian Federation for support but in a recent move President Lukashenko said that Belarus did not need a Russian base on its territory. That is not to suggest that Belarus is now leaning towards the West, rather that the president is playing a careful game to remain as neutral as possible in the current conflict between the West and Russia in Ukraine.