He is known as "Europe's last dictator," and in that sense the results of the presidential election in Belarus shouldn't be too much of a shock. Alexander Lukashenko, in power since 1994, cruised to victory with 80% of the vote. The problem? Lukashenko controls the vote count and the state media, reports the New York Times, and the opposition isn't buying it. Widespread protests Sunday night triggered what the AP describes as a "brutal" police crackdown, along with threats from Lukashenko that the government response could get worse. Coverage:
- The vote: The official tally gives Lukashenko 80% and his main challenger, 37-year-old political novice Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, 10%. “We don’t agree with (election results), we have absolutely opposite information,” Tsikhanouskaya tells the AP. “We have official protocols from many poll stations, where the number of votes in my favor are many more times than for another candidate."