On the morning of August 10, Belarusian election officials published the first preliminary results of the presidential election. According to these numbers, Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) won more than 80 percent of the votes, while his main opposition rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya), got less than 10 percent. Turnout was a whopping 84 percent. These figures line up with the exit polls released by state-accredited sociologists, but they radically contradict reports by the opposition, which says Tikhanovskaya won 70 percent. Russian sociologist Grigory Yudin warns that neither side’s numbers are reliable because of the non-transparency of state officials’ counting procedures and the ambiguity of the opposition’s own monitoring methodology. Tikhanovskaya’s campaign refuses to recognize the election’s results and says the government’s numbers “completely contradict common sense.” In remarks on Monday, she called on “those who believe their vote was stolen” “not to remain silent.”

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