Protesters demand resignation of Belarus leader amid threat of strikes

Cheryl Sanders
October 26, 2020

Alexander Yaroshuk, the head of the Belarusian Confederation of Democratic Trade Unions, said he was aware that some unions and individual workers were ready to strike.

Mr Lukashenko has signalled that he would ignore the ultimatum.

Police used stun grenades to disperse protesters and mass arrests were under way on Sunday, according to opposition Telegram channels.

"Today at 23.59 the term of the People's Ultimatum will expire, and if the demands are not met, the Belarusians will start a national strike", she said in statement.

They carried red and white flags and marched while chanting "Go away!" and "New election!", references to a disputed presidential vote that returned President Alexander Lukashenko to a sixth term and triggered nearly daily protests. In the videos, people can be seeing running in panic as explosions and clouds of white smoke go off.

Ms. Tsikhanouskaya had previously set a "People's Ultimatum" for Mr. Lukashenko to resign by Sunday night, promising to call the strike if he did not.


Law enforcement confirmed that riot control weapons had been used and detentions had taken place, the TASS and RIA news agencies reported.

Several subway stations were closed, mobile internet was not working, and water cannons and armoured vehicles were seen in the center of Minsk.

A local human rights group says about 290 people were detained.

An interior ministry spokeswoman said it was too early to say how many people had been injured or detained. He continues to take a hardline stance with support from Russian Federation.

Protests have swept the country since Mr Lukashenko claimed victory in an August poll widely viewed as rigged. He denies electoral fraud.

Ms Tsikhanouskaya, who is now in exile in Lithuania after leaving the country in fear for her safety, threatened to call a nationwide strike for Monday unless Mr Lukashenko announced his resignation, released political prisoners and stopped the crackdown on protesters before then.

Mr Lukashenko has accused Western countries of meddling in the internal affairs of Belarus and trying to instigate a violent uprising against him.

Independent reporting inside Belarus has been curtailed and it was not possible to immediately estimate the scale of the industrial action.

Other reports by iNewsToday