Opposition in Belarus refuses to recognise official election win by Lukashenko

Belarusian united opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanouskaya holds her ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus August 9, 2020. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

MINSK (Reuters) - Belarusian opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanouskaya said on Monday she refused to recognise official results that showed incumbent Alexander Lukashenko had won a landslide re-election victory.

Preliminary official results earlier on Monday showed that Lukashenko had won 80% of the vote in Sunday’s election. Tikhanouskaya, a former English teacher who emerged from obscurity to become his main rival, won 9.9% of the vote, the data showed.

Tikhanouskaya told reporters in Minsk she considered herself the election winner not Lukashenko. She said the election had been massively rigged.

Her aides said the opposition wanted a vote recount at polling stations where there were problems.

They also said the opposition wanted to hold talks with authorities about how to bring about a peaceful change of power.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn