Belarus’ leader faces toughest challenge yet in Sunday vote

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — After 26 years in office, the authoritarian leader of Belarus is facing the toughest challenge yet. President Alexander Lukashenko is running for a sixth term. But discontent over a worsening economy and his government’s dismissive response to the coronavirus pandemic has helped fuel the country’s largest opposition rallies since he became its first president following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Once called “Europe’s last dictator” for his crackdowns, Lukashenko has made clear he won’t hesitate to use force to quash any protests. Late Saturday, police arrested 10 people in the capital for an unauthorized protest and one of his main challengers left her house, concerned about her security.