More Workers Join Strike to Oust Belarusian President Lukashenko

More workers joined a growing strike Tuesday to oust authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko after he extended his 26-year term in an election that detractors contend was rigged.Thousands of workers began walking off the job Monday at state-controlled facilities, joining actors and broadcasters. Unrest began to escalate after Lukashenko dismissed demands to resign following a severe police crackdown on peaceful protesters days after the August 9 election.Workers of the Minsk Tractor Works Plant leave after their work shift as activists with old Belarusian national flags greet them in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 18, 2020.The first government official to challenge Lukashenko was the ambassador to Slovakia, who said in a video Saturday before he resigned that he supported the protests.The ambassador to Spain, Pavel Pustav, posted a statement Tuesday on Facebook urging a vote recount and the prosecution of those who beat peaceful protesters.Officials from Western countries have refused to recognize the election as free and fair, and they have denounced the police crackdown.The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to discuss Belarus in a closed-door session Tuesday, one day before European Union leaders are to discuss the matter.
 

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