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Belarus president lacks democratic legitimacy, top EU diplomat says

Josep Borrell, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy departs from a meeting at the EU summit, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Johanna Geron /Pool

MADRID (Reuters) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko “lacks democractic legitimacy” after an election victory that is not recognized, top European Union diplomat Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.

The EU intends to express “condemnation and rejection” of Lukashenko’s regime, Borrell told reporters in Santander, according to TV footage released by state broadcaster TVE.

The diplomat’s comments come as European Union leaders were holding an emergency summit expected to endorse sanctions on Belarussian officials over suspected election fraud and a subsequent crackdown on protesters.

Lukashenko, who has run Belarus for 26 years, is facing massive protests after winning 80% of the vote in elections that some sectors of the population believe were rigged.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Nathan Allen

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