Thousands in the Belarusian capital took to the streets over the weekend to protest demanding the departure of long-time President Alexander Lukashenko who has led for 26 years.
Local media reported that around 31,000 people held rallies in the capital on Sunday. Though, the interior Ministry estimated the number at around 65,000.
On Monday morning, the state television staff appeared to be on strike as the station had empty news desks that were only broadcasting hip-hop music.
The opposition leader has called for fresh strikes in the face of mounting anger over police brutality reports and alleged election fraud in the recently contacted elections on August 9th.
Although protesters came out in far large numbers with local media reporting that it is the largest in history, the president who claimed landslide victory remains defiant.
The Central Electoral Commission said Mr. Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, garnered 80.1% of the vote, and his main opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya only garnered 10.12%, which is the mains cause of tension as opposition leaders did not agree.
Ms. Tikhanovskaya publicly condemned the results saying that if the votes were properly counted, she won between 60% and 70%.
The opposition candidate, who has left for Lithuania, posted a video message on Monday saying she was ready to become a national leader to restore calm and normalcy, free political prisoners, and prepare for new elections.
It was reported that around 6,700 people were arrested during the election and many were also tortured at the hands of security officers.
Speaking to his supporters, Mr. Lukashenko said that Belarus would die as a state if the elections were repeated.
He told his supporters that they had come there for the first time in a quarter of a century to defend their country, independence, wives, sisters, and children. He added that the opposition would come out of its hole if not suppressed this time.
It was reported that around 220,000 protesters gathered near the monument to the hero city of Stela Minsk from World War II in central Minsk as he was speaking to his supporters.
Although strikes are now looming across the country, some workers face threats from being laid off. It has been reported that state-sector workers have been threatened with losing their jobs or being fired.
But for a few days now, some workers in state-owned factories have also been taking part in the protests with some staging walk-outs and many joining in the street marches against Lukashenko.
Igor Leshchenya, the Belarusian ambassador to Slovakia, also expressed his solidarity with the demonstrators.
The president, who has led Belarus for 26 years, is exposed not only to pressure from within but also to pressure from other European countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that the EU should continue to mobilize to support thousands of Belarusians who are peacefully demonstrating for their rights, freedom, and sovereignty.
Olaf Sholz, the Vice-Chancellor of Germany, called President Lukashenko a bad dictator and said that the Belarusian leader had lost all legitimacy.
Archie Fowler was born and raised in Cleveland. As a Reporter, Archie has contributed to several online publications including City Visitor Publications and Quantum Grafix. In regards to academics, Archie has got a Post Graduation Degree in Department Of Business from Cleveland State University. As a Reporter for Chroniclex Archie Covers World Topics.