Opposition groups will stage rallies across Minsk to coincide with the Belarusian presidential election on Sunday, August 9. Protesters will gather in the vicinity of polling stations from 18:00 (local time). At 22:00 activists will gather at the Minsk Hero City Obelisk and may also march on either Prospekt Nezavisimosti or Prospekt Pobeditelej. Demonstrators are expected to demand that the Central Electoral Commission perform a transparent vote-counting process and release election process documents to the public. On Monday, August 10, opposition groups intend to gather from 19:00 at Minsk Hero City Obelisk and public spaces in other cities to coincide with the declaration of the election results.
Further protests and rallies are likely in the run-up to the Belarusian presidential election and following the announcement of the results.
President Alexander Lukashenko is currently seeking a sixth term in office. The likelihood of Lukashenko's victory has been increased by the barring of the two main rivals - Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko; however, the run-up to the election has seen increased opposition protest activity. The main opposition candidate is Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who ran following the arrest of her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky, in May. Rallies in support of Tikhanovskaya have attracted thousands of attendees in Minsk and major cities across the country.
Individuals in Belarus are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media.
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