Belarus opposition leader threatens nationwide strike

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By LIUDAS DAPKUS Associated Press

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — The top opposition challenger in the Belarusian presidential election threatened Tuesday to call a nationwide strike unless the country’s authoritarian president announces his resignation, releases political prisoners and stops his government’s violent crackdown on protesters.

“If our demands aren’t fulfilled by Oct. 25, the entire country will peacefully take to the streets,” Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said in a statement issued from Vilnius, Lithuania, where she’s in exile after leaving Belarus under pressure from authorities after the country’s disputed Aug. 9 presidential election.

“On Oct. 26, a national strike of all enterprises will begin, all roads will be blocked, sales in state-owned stores will collapse. You have 13 days to fulfil three conditions. We have 13 days to prepare, and in the meantime Belarusians will continue their peaceful and persistent protest,” the statement said.

Belarus has been rocked by mass protests since Aug. 9, when results of a presidential election reportedly handed President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in office. Tsikhanouskaya, who officials claim got only 10% of the vote,…


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