‘This is a farce’ Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya responds to Lukashenko’s inauguration
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya) has released a video message responding to Alexander Lukashenko’s secret inauguration as president of Belarus. In the message, she calls herself the only elected leader of the Belarusian people. The video was published by Tikhanovskaya spokespeople on their official Telegram channel, “Pul Pervoi.”
Here’s what she said:
Dear Belarusians. Today, unbeknownst to the people, Lukashenko tried to hold his own inauguration. We all understand what’s happening. This attempt [to have] himself recognized as legitimate only [speaks] to the fact that his former powers have ended, and the people didn’t give him a new mandate. Of course this so-called inauguration is a farce. In fact, Lukashenko simply retired today.
This means that his orders to the security structures are no longer legitimate and don’t have to be enforced. I, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, am the only leader elected by the Belarusian people. And our task now is to build a new Belarus together.
My visit to Brussels ended two days ago. I met with European leaders, foreign ministers, addressed the European Parliament, and talked to the Belarusian diasporas.
The countries of Europe support the Belarusian people in their demands to stop the violence, free political prisoners, and hold new — honest and transparent — elections. They are prepared to provide real assistance — there are serious investment packages [being] envisaged for Belarus after democracy wins.
And together, we will win.