COVID lifts revolutionary candidate in Belarus

A female candidate is challenging authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, amid unrest over the pandemic. ABC’s Patrick Reevell reports on Belarus’ movement for change.
4:30 | 08/08/20

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Transcript for COVID lifts revolutionary candidate in Belarus
Eastern European nation of bella Roos wraps up its presidential election this weekend. With that country's authoritarian president facing an unlikely challenge from a stay at home mom turned opposition candidate. She's leading a protest movement years in the making out partially fueled by unrest over the country's handling the corona virus pandemic. So what could it mean for the man considered by many as the last dictator in Europe. CBC's Patrick Randall has a story. Until recently these scenes would have been almost unimaginable in Belarus the country's largest protest since the fall of the Soviet Union. Tens of thousands of people. Calling for an end was general rule of Alexander Lukashenko and Belarus is authoritarian president bill. In Powell Reggie now for 26 years. On Sunday Belarus will conclude a five day presidential election that had been expected to be another coronation. Instead Lukashenko long nicknamed Europe's last dictator. He's facing an unprecedented challenge to his rule. One few in part by the corona virus pandemic. You do about abuse. Berlusconi's people came even after the rally was banned. They came with children people at different ages people are not afraid anymore. The protests have coalesced around this woman since lawn NC kennels. Until a few months ago to form a teach it was a stay at home mom. But then her husband a popular blogger Russell to run against Lukashenko was jailed says she reluctantly stepped into the race herself. My first tip for voice. Just fall off. Fallout from my husband I sold how many people sporting team and how many people. Weren't these changes harming people tie it and I failed to end responsibility for all these people. I and promotes gun has joined forces with two other women. Focusing a wave that assesses faction years in the making but that's now being boosted by lukashenko's handling of the pandemic he dismissed the virus as a hysteria. Refusing to lock down and even holding a huge annual military parade in May. Belarus has now had at least 68000. Confirmed virus cases or one of them Lukashenko himself who last week says he'd already recovered from the virus. Millions of ordinary better Russians though took the virus seriously. The where Lucas and good treated corona virus. Crisis. Definitely added fuel to the people's defend this types of men and indignation and the first kind of sign all of us. Massive protest was. When parents like myself we did not let our kids go to school. Because of corona virus. I know they analytical food and our people around what they want to these changes and vehicle into stint for this change just because this time it's intended to. He in the human the team. The celts gun assays if she wins her platform is simple release political prisoners and cool new free and fair elections. The dangers of opposing Lukashenko though remained. In recent days more activists of being detained. In June 2 cannot discuss that she received a coal threatening to put her children in an orphanage if she didn't dropout. Tortilla the most admirable but for that the chief season. But the rule there's a choice my kids and were to continue the fight. I think my choice will be obvious so I ask you to understand any decision I made possible within. After she managed to get the children outs of Belarus to colonel Scott stayed in the race. Lukashenko has one previous elections with results prove it ET percent produced by what observers say is widespread fraud. But a stolen election this time could trigger upheaval in recent days Lukashenko has toward military bases sending an unmistakable message to demonstrators. The what happens in Belarus potentially has consequences beyond this. A political upheaval in neighboring Russia's doorstep could provoke a crisis so the question now is what comes up to Sunday's election. If people come out to protest to cannot sky say she will join them. If people. Decide that. They had to do this because our government doesn't hear from belligerent people. So. I'll newbie among them of course. I do not tight. So many people feel the same and helped post the authorities' response to the movie could determine what happens next. Listen regal for ABC news lives.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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