Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, officially the losing candidate in this month’s contested Belarus election, has told members of the European Parliament that her country has gone through a “peaceful revolution.”
She says the opposition is now ready to speak to the current government to negotiate the terms of a new election.
Tikhanovskaya expressed her belief that the country’s opposition movement now consists of a majority of the country, and rejected being drawn into a geopolitical struggle.
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“It is neither a pro-Russian nor an anti-Russian revolution. It is neither an anti-European Union nor a pro-European Union revolution. It is a democratic revolution. It is the striving of a nation to decide for itself,” she said.
Watch Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s speech – #Belarus democratic opposition presidential candidate – at @EP_ForeignAff. We stand with Belarusians in their demand for free & fair elections.
The situation won’t be resolved until #Lukashenko resigns.#WithBelarus https://t.co/eq6kaR5joE
— EPP Group (@EPPGroup) August 25, 2020
Mass protests began in Belarus on August 9, after the country’s Central Election Committee announced that incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko had won re-election with 80% of the vote. According to the official results, widely believed to be falsified, Tikhanovskaya won just 10%. As thousands of people took to the streets, Belarusian security forces met demonstrators with rubber bullets and tear gas.
Tikhanovskaya noted how many Belarusians who took part in the protests were arrested and went missing, with “at least six people killed.”
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On August 14, she announced the creation of a Coordination Council to assist in the transition of power from Lukashenko. The body’s is made up of seven members, including Svetlana Alexievich, a Nobel prize winner, and Pavel Latushko, a former Belarusian Minister of Culture.
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