On the anniversary of the outbreak of the Belarusian revolution, Sviatlana Tsichanouska said that only a common position of all countries on the sanctions and further pressure on the Minsk regime will help Belarus overcome the crisis. The oppositionist stressed that “the cost of Lukashenka’s forced maintenance of power is enormous.”
On August 9, 2020, Sviatlana Cichanouska, the opposition candidate, lost the fight for the highest office in the state in a rigged election with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who was seeking his fifth re-election. The incumbent president was to be supported by over 80 percent. voters, opposition activist – only 10 The results of the election were not recognized by Belarusians and international opinion. A revolution broke out in the country. Thousands of Belarusians took to city streets to fight for freedom and democracy.
– The cost of forced maintenance of power by Lukashenka is enormous. Over 36,000 Belarusians were arrested, 610 people were recognized as political prisoners, and another thousand innocent people were imprisoned. The regime is committing crimes not only at home but also abroad. The hijacking of a Ryanair plane, an influx of illegal migrants on the border with Lithuania, an attempt to force Kryscina Cimanouska out of the Tokyo Olympics. Within one year, the regime transformed from illegal to terrorist – emphasized Cichanouska on the anniversary of the presidential election. She made a statement at the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vilnius. The oppositionist left for Lithuania shortly after the elections. Independent Belarusian media reported that it was Lukashenka’s regime that forced her to take such steps.
Belarus needs new elections
Cichanouska claims that the end of the political crisis in Belarus will be possible when political prisoners are released from detention and new elections are held in the country. She also added that journalists had become a special target for Lukashenka, recalled the forced closure of a number of non-governmental organizations, newspapers and independent portals. She also thanked all media workers who continue their work and cover events in Belarus.
At the end of her speech, Cichanouska pointed out that Lukashenka’s regime had been unable to understand the diplomatic language for a year. In her opinion, only a common, coordinated position of all countries on sanctions and further pressure on Lukashenka will help Belarus overcome the crisis and take new, decisive steps towards democracy.
Lukashenka: It was a difficult year
Lukashenka also organized a special press conference to mark the anniversary of the rigged elections. It was called “The Great Conversation with the President”. – Today Belarus is on the lips of the whole world. You know it as well as I do. I would like to emphasize that it was not my will. A difficult year is behind us – he said, quoted by the state agency BiełTA.
According to the Belarusian leader, “much of what has happened recently in Belarus has been deliberately distorted and even turned upside down by opponents of the state.” – Surprisingly, sometimes even the solid world media casts a shadow over the absolutely obvious. That is why we need this conversation today – live, open and face to face – he said.
Officials and pro-government experts also participated in Monday’s meeting with Lukashenka, and independent Belarusian media were not allowed to participate in the conference.
Main photo source: Reuters