KIEV, August 12. /TASS/. Valery Tsepkalo, who was not allowed to register as a candidate in the Belarusian presidential election, has announced the creation of a charity fund in Kiev to support opposition forces.
"Dear friends, here in Kiev, Ukraine, we have set up the fund ‘Belarus of the Future," Tsepkalo said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel.
According to the politician, the fund’s goal is to support democratic development in Belarus and provide assistance to the citizens hit by political repressions and political prosecution. Besides, there are plans to provide assistance in finding jobs and getting education outside Belarus, Tsepkalo said.
The fund’s supervisory council includes Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature, opposition politicians Anatoly Lebedko and Stanislav Bogdankevich and journalist Svetlana Kalinkina. Donations to the fund can be made via Ukraine’s Privatbank.
On Tuesday, Tsepkalo announced the creation of the National Salvation Front aimed at opposing constitutional violations and the current authorities as well as fighting for maintaining national sovereignty, democracy and freedom in the Republic of Belarus.
Earlier, the Central Election Commission refused to register Tsepkalo, the former head of Belarus Hi-Tech Park, as a presidential candidate, explaining that he had failed to collect 100,000 signatures in support of his nomination. His wife’s declaration was also questioned. Tsepkalo said he and his two children left Belarus ahead of the election to avoid an arrest.
Belarus held the presidential election on August 9. According to preliminary data of the Central Election Commission, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won 80.08% of the vote. His key rival Svetlana Tihanovskaya garnered 10.09% of the vote.
After the results of exit polls were announced, mass protests flared up in Minsk and other cities, which spiraled into clashes with police. The protests continued at nights on August 10 and August 11. According to the Interior Ministry, 3,000 people were detained while dozens of police officers and protesters were injured. One person was killed when he tried to throw an unidentified explosive device at the law enforcement officers, but it blew up in his hand.