Violence spills onto streets of Belarus after contested presidential election

MINSK, Belarus (CNN) – Protests erupted across Belarus late Sunday after election returns appeared to show a big—and in the eyes of many, highly dubious—victory for longtime President Alexander Lukashenko.

Lukashenko, who has ruled for nearly three decades, has faced a wave of anger over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Official state-approved exit polls give him an overwhelming majority with nearly 80 percent.

His main opponent, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya—a former teacher—won nearly seven percent of the vote. However, one independent monitoring agency is disputing that finding. After counting more than one million ballots, the agency says that Tikhanovskaya won some 80 percent.

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