Protests in Belarus: Lukashenko’s game for time

Protests in Belarus: Lukashenko's game for time

In Belarus, the opposition rejects President Lukashenko’s cautious proposals. More and more state officials are distancing themselves.

The opposition in Belarus rejects the latest offers from President Alexander Lukschenko. Lukashenko had announced that he could well imagine recounting the votes from the last election. He is also no longer averse to new elections. However, these should be carried out after a constitutional reform, which in turn would have to be approved by the people in a referendum.

The opposition sees the offers only as an attempt by the head of state to play for time. The officially defeated presidential candidate Svetlana Tichanovskaya is against a recount of the votes. Anna Krasulina of the Tichanovskaya staff asks the TV channel Ukraina 24 how to count again votes that have been kept in the electoral commission for a week. There is evidence that votes were burned, said Krasulina.

From September 10, when Lukashenko’s current term of office expires, he will no longer be a legitimate president, says Krasulina. Rather, it is now a matter of increasing the resistance against Lukashenko. “We have to move from peaceful protest to strikes. They hit the regime where it hurts”, quoted the Belarusian portal, the Tichanovskaya confidante.

Lukashenko’s promise to repeat the presidential elections after a constitutional reform is also rejected by the opposition. “For 26 years we have heard the most varied of promises from Lukashenko. Not once did he keep his word. That is why we see this promise as just another attempt to stay in power at any cost,” said Gleb Germanchuk from the staff of the imprisoned and unapproved presidential candidate Viktor Babariko, according to

Meanwhile, more and more high-ranking personalities and state officials are distancing themselves from Lukashenko. The Belarusian ambassador to Slovakia, Igor Leschchenia, submitted his resignation. He had previously stated that he was shocked by the violence and torture inflicted on his fellow citizens.

Two employees of the Foreign Ministry, Vyacheslav Kozachenok and Elena Popaneva, also took part in opposition actions. Andrej Buschilo quit his job on Monday. Buschilo was the head of the department responsible for North America in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Minsk. Also on Tuesday, the director of the oldest drama theater in Belarus, the Janka Kupala Theater, Pavel Latuschko, left his post.

The opposition is already debating people who, after Lukashenko, could take on responsibility in the country. There are different ideas about this personnel debate.

On the portal of the human rights organization Charta97, Dmitrij Bondarenko, coordinator of the “European Belarus” campaign, calls for a “coalition government of national trust”, which should be led by the currently imprisoned politicians Nikolaj Statkewitsch, Pavel Severinez, Sergej Tichanowski and Viktor Babariko. Under no circumstances, according to Bondarenko, should Svetlana Tichanowska be made a “substitute president”.

Svetlana Tichanowskaja, meanwhile, renewed her claim to leadership. Your staff has convened a coordinating council of 35 people who are valued in Belarusian society to implement the transfer of power from Lukashenko to your team. Svetlana Alexeijewitsch, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and human rights activist Ales Belyatsky are also on the coordination council.
Meanwhile, the strikes in the country continue. Also on Tuesday, according to Charter97, hundreds of companies were on a nationwide strike.

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