Belarus, a country that was once part of the Soviet Union, recently held its presidential election. The result? Current president Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory of receiving over 80 percent of the votes. Wow—a grand victory, right? Perhaps, but can a person claim victory when others believe the outcome was the result of cheating? Since the election, factory workers have walked out on the job and hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have gathered in cities around the country to protest the election results and demand a reelection. The European Union (EU) has even stepped in to support the people of Belarus. Why? As Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said, “These elections were neither free nor fair and did not meet international standards.” As a result, the EU has placed sanctions on (or penalized) Belarus. (Side note: Sanctions may include fines and trade restrictions, both of which can cause a lot of problems for a country.)
Wondering what will happen next? No one knows, but one thing’s for certain: the people of Belarus are making their voices and demands heard.
Interesting Fact: Do protests work? In 2018, the people of Armenia took to the streets to protest the results of their election. After two weeks of protests, former Armenian president and prime minister Serzh Sargsyan stepped down and opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan became the new prime minister. Read more about this story here.