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Another opposition candidate’s campaign chief arrested just days before end of presidential elections in Belarus


Belarusian presidential candidate Sergey Cherechen (Syarhey Cherachen) has reported the arrest of his campaign chief, Nikolai Lysenkov, says the Belarusian news outlet 

Law enforcement arrested Lysenkov at a polling station on Friday, August 7, where he was monitoring early voting in the presidential elections. Cherechen said that Lysenkov was likely arrested on suspicion of organizing unauthorized mass events, an administrative offense.

The arrest of independent election monitor and Cherechen campaign chief Nikolai Lysenkov

On August 6, Belarusian law enforcement arrested Maria Moroz (Maryja Maroz), the campaign chief of opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svitlana Tsihanouskaya). Tikhanovksaya’s campaign later confirmed her release. While the Belarusian Interior Ministry denied that its officers arrested Ms. Moroz, she told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that agents from Belarus’s Organized Crime Unit detained her “for a chat.”

Early voting in the Belarusian presidential elections is taking place from August 4–8, and the final election day is scheduled for August 9. Turnout in the first three days of early voting has reached 22.47 percent.

President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka), who has been in power for 26 years, is running for his sixth consecutive term. His main competitor is opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who entered the race after her husband, opposition blogger Sergey Tikhanosvsky (Syarhey Tsikhanousky), was banned from participation and jailed. The other candidates running in the election are Andrey Dmitriev (Andrey Dzmitryeu), Anna Kanopatskaya (Ganna Kanapatskaya), and Sergey Cherechen.