Belarus election: Opposition leader Tokhanovskaya ‘safe’ in Lithuania

World

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has left the country and is “safe” in Lithuania, its foreign minister says, as unrest continued over Sunday’s disputed presidential poll.

Tikhanovskaya’s campaign team said she was avoiding the protests because of “possible provocations”.

Election results gave veteran President Alexander Lukashenko 80%, but Tikhanovskaya refuses to accept them.

A lack of scrutiny, with no observers present, has led to claims of fraud.

Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has described opposition supporters as “sheep” controlled from abroad.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius tweeted about Tikhanovskaya’s whereabouts on Tuesday morning after rumours that she had disappeared.

There had been concern for her on Monday but her campaign later she was “safe”, without saying where.

Linkevisius told Lithuanian radio that Tikhanovskaya had been detained for seven hours in Belarus but did not say why pr by whom.

According to an associate of the opposition leader, Tikhanovskaya was escorted from the country by the authorities as part of a deal to allow the release of her campaign manager, Maria Moroz, who was arrested before the election on Friday evening.

The two women left the country together.

 

 

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