Lukashenko sworn in, opponents locked up

A handful of frozen protesters make their opposition to the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as president of Belarus clear.

Moments later a convoy of police moved in and took them into custody, just like the four opposition challengers for the presidency and hundreds of their supporters.

His rivals have denounced his December 19 victory as fraudulent and all the strife is bad for business.

"The European side and the Belarusian side are interested in restoring certain confidence and restoring a certain level of relations. I do not see any possibility for Belarus and for Lukashenko's political regime to remain in its present state. The cost, which has already been paid by and will continue to be paid by Belarusians is very high."

Friday saw Europe's last dictator sworn in during a ceremony boycotted by Western ambassadors.

The international monitoring team said the count carried out at many election centres ranged from "bad to very bad."

For Lukashenko its simple "the people have spoken, their choice is sacred and indisputable," he said.


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