Tensions mount in Belarus; Lukashenko rejects rerunning vote

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — President Alexander Lukashenko, under pressure from massive protests that broke out after questionable a election that gave him a sixth term in a landslide,  on Sunday vehemently rejected any possibility of holding a rerun of the vote. Lukashenko spoke at a rally of thousands of supporters near the main government building in Minsk while large crowds streamed toward the site of a an opposition rally 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) away. The authoritarian president, who has ruled since 1994 and repressed opposition and independent news media, accused Western powers of gathering military units in countries along Belarus’ western borders and denounced Western suggestions of holding an election rerun, saying “if we follow their lead, we will perish as a state.”