Hundreds gathered in the streets of Minsk on Tuesday, July 14, to protest the barring of two candidates from the upcoming August 9 presidential election by the central election commission. Police reportedly detained several dozen people while blocking off main thoroughfares in Minsk; however, there were no reports of clashes.
Further protests are likely in the run-up to the election. Associated disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected around demonstration sites.
Police have detained several hundred anti-government demonstrators over the past few weeks to quell anti-government sentiment prior to the August 9 election. The majority of President Alexander Lukashenko's political rivals are either in detention or under investigation. The barring of the two main rivals - Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko - makes Lukashenko's chances of remaining in power all the more likely; he has been in power for 26 years.
Individuals in Belarus are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and anticipate a heightened security presence and localized disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites.
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