Lukashenko Is Reluctant To Give Up Power Despite Street Pressure

Thousands of people have returned to the streets of Belarus against Lukashenko's victory last Sunday in elections that they say are rigged.

Belarus has lived in tension since Lukashenko, in power since 1994, won the elections this Sunday with 80.1 % of the votes, according to data from the electoral commission. According to these results, Lukashenko will be able to exercise a sixth presidential term. However, neither the opposition nor part of the population nor the Western foreign ministries has recognized his victory.

A majority of Belarusians do not believe in their victory. Where the committees counted the votes fairly, I received between 60% and 70% of the votes,” Tijanovskaya said in his first video message since he went into exile on Tuesday. In Lithuania.

And there is increasing evidence in the Belarusian press that local officials pressured members of the electoral commissions to manipulate the results at the polls.

At the very least, Tijanovskaya should have had the option of contesting a second round, but the CEC rejected all appeals against the electoral results.

“We will go to the Supreme Court ,” Andrei Dmitriev, another presidential candidate, said today.

This Friday, thousands of people took to the streets again in Minsk where unusual scenes were witnessed. The protesters have approached the policemen guarding the Parliament and have begun distributing hugs and flowers to the officers. 

Human solidarity chains have already been formed in Minsk and several Belarusian cities, in many cases formed by women with anti-violence banners and flowers for the forces of order.

Release of detainees

Considered for many years the last dictator in Europe, Lukashenko has conceded to his rivals: he ordered the release of those protesters who had been arbitrarily detained during police raids in recent days.

After the president said that the protesters were criminals and unemployed, the Interior Ministry released 2,000 of the total 7,000 protesters detained.

Interior Minister Yuri Karáev even apologized to those “peaceful citizens” who were detained without reason in detention centers but denied the allegations of abuse and torture.

Tijanovskaya breaks his silence

After several days of tense silence, Tijanovskaya again addressed the Belarusians today to say that “we supporters of change are the majority.

Belarusians will never again want to live under the old regime . The authorities have turned the peaceful exit of citizens to the streets into a scabechina,” he said.

He described the situation in the country as “critical” due to the disproportionate use of force against protesters and called on the authorities to put an end to police repression.

Of course, although he insisted that Belarusians have shown the world that they are “against violence,” he urged to continue pressing Lukashenko in the streets. Over the weekend and asked mayors to act as organizers of “peaceful rallies” in their cities.

Handover of power

On the political level, Tijanovskaya announced the creation of a Coordinating Committee “to guarantee the transfer of power” in which respected personalities of Belarusian society, civil organizations, parties, unions, labor groups, etc., would join.

“The coordinating committee must include all those interested in  dialogue with the authorities and the peaceful transfer of power,” he explained while asking the international community to mediate with the authorities. In turn, she demanded the release of “all the detainees”, the withdrawal from the streets of the riot police and the Interior troops, and the opening of criminal cases against those who ordered, “to hit and shoot people.”

Talk to your superiors and stop the bloodshed. We, the people, will thank everyone who stands on the side of the people, “he said.

Workers at the country’s major companies, including the Minsk metro, have shown solidarity with the protesters by organizing acts of protest. Protest against police repression, to which teachers, actors, musicians and health workers have joined.

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