Tsikhanouskaya says she’s ready to become ‘national leader’ of Belarus
10 months ago Web Desk 0
Speaking in a video address from Lithuania, she also urged security and law enforcement officers to switch sides from President Alexander Lukashenko’s government, saying their past behavior would be forgiven if they did so now, according to Reuters.
She added that she did not “want to become a politician” but that “destiny decreed that I would be on the front line in the face of arbitrariness and injustice,” according to Euronews.
The 37-year-old opponent released this video the day after one of the largest opposition rallies in Belarusian history, which saw tens of thousands of people gather in Minsk to demand the departure of their political leader.
Tsikhanouskaya, the former English teacher, who had taken over as a candidate from her imprisoned husband, denounced massive fraud during the August 9 ballot, within which she officially won 10% of the vote against 80% for the outgoing head of state.
She fled abroad last week, saying she had done so for the safety of her children, but quickly began releasing new videos calling for anti-government protests to continue.
The unrest has spread to sections of society normally seen as loyal to the president, as workers from large state factories staged walkouts.
Euronews says Lukashenko appeared in front of supporters on Independence Square in Minsk and had said that he would never give up power.
Lukashenko reportedly wants to meet with striking factory workers today.Strikes in the state-owned companies are seen as a real threat to his retention of power because they threaten to break the country’s economic base.Over the weekend, government members and officials from the presidential administration had already tried to persuade people to return to work – without success.
According to Reuters, the Kremlin said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had told Lukashenko Moscow was ready to assist Belarus in accordance with a collective military pact if necessary and that external pressure was being applied to the country.
It did not say where from.
Russia is watching closely as Belarus hosts pipelines that carry Russian energy exports to the West and is viewed by Moscow as a buffer zone against NATO.
SviatlanaTsikhanouskaya, née Pilipchuk, (born September 11, 1982) is spouse of Belarusian YouTuber and activist SiarheiTsikhanouski.She ran for the 2020 Belarusian presidential election as the main opposition candidate.Her husband was a candidate for the same election until his arrest on May 29, 2020, after which she announced her intention to run in his place.The incumbent Alexander Lukashenko was officially declared the winner in the contest.Tsikhanouskaya claimed to have won the presidential election with between 60 and 70% of the vote and has appealed to the international community to recognize her as the winner
Source: Asia Plus