Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, facing an unprecedented protest movement, swore in secret for a sixth term on Wednesday. According to him, the “revolution” that his opponents wanted has failed.
Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in for a sixth term as head of Belarus on Wednesday, September 23, despite being challenged for re-election. “He took the oath in Belarus, after which he signed the oath, then the Presidential Committee (…) presented him with the certificate as President of the Republic of Belarus”, first indicated the state body Belta, then the seat of the presidency.
In the morning, independent Belarusian media and opposition platforms had speculated on a surprising nomination, as the president’s motorcade marched through the streets at full speed, with Minsk main street closed to the public and forces in orders deployed in large numbers around the presidency.
“The outgoing president who claims to have won 80% of the vote makes his inauguration an operation of the special services, under the protection of riot forces and in secret”, expressed in the Telegram message to one of the opposition representatives, Pavel Latouchko, banished as many of his comrades.
Germany “does not recognize” due to lack of “democratic legitimacy” President Alexander Lukashenko, said on Wednesday spokesman for the German government. “The minimum requirements for democratic elections were not met”, Steffen Seibert condemned during a press conference, adding that the election on 9 August was “neither fair nor free”.
For opponents and independent media, this ceremony, which was to take place legally before October 9, was organized so as not to act as a catalyst for a new large-scale demonstration.
According to the presidency, Alexander Loukachenko spoke of his “pride” in his introductory speech to senior officials who were hand-picked because, according to him, the nation has defeated the troublemakers. He said his country had resisted a “color revolution”, a nickname given in the former Soviet Union to popular movements that have pushed authoritarian regimes out of power since the early 2000s in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.
For Russia and Alexander Lukashenko, it was a matter of revolt that the West aroused. “Our state faced an unsurpassed challenge (…) but we are among the only, if not the only, where the ‘color revolution’ has not worked. It is the choice of the Belarusians, who do not want to destroy their country,” he said. he.
“We have not only elected a president, we have defended our values, our lives in peace, sovereignty and independence,” he said.
“A fraudulent investment”
The head of Lithuanian diplomacy, one of the countries hosting Belarusian opponents accused by Alexander Lukashenko of plotting against him, mocked the ceremony. “What a farce! Fraudulent election, a fraudulent nomination,” Linas Linkevicius wrote on Twitter.
Alexander Lukashenko has faced an unprecedented challenge since the August 9 presidential election, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets every Sunday in Minsk to condemn his re-election as fraudulent, despite the movement’s repression. During the first days, the protests were rejected very violently and thousands of people were arrested.
Opposition figures have either been imprisoned or forced into exile in recent weeks, such as candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. This newcomer to politics, who galvanized the masses during the election campaign, claims victory in the vote.
Many journalists have also been the subject of arrests, threats or revocation of accreditation. On Wednesday, the editor of the independent site Nacha Niva was arrested.
Alexander Lukashenko promised a vague constitutional reform to respond to this political crisis. But he excludes any dialogue with critics of the regime he has ruled since 1994.