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Tikhanovskaya initiates creation of coordination council to transfer power in Belarus

The opposition leader called on the international community for aid
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Natalia Fedosenko/TASS
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
© Natalia Fedosenko/TASS

MINSK, August 14. /TASS/. Belarusian former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who finished second in the race, has announced that she is initiating creation of a coordination council to ensure transfer of power in the country.

"I, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, am initiating creation of the Coordination Council for transfer of power. This council can be joined by civic society members, respected and famous Belarusians and true professionals of their trades," she said in a statement issued by her campaign staff.

She added that she entrusted her authorized representative Olga Kovalkova and lawyer Maxim Znak with collecting applications to join the council from organizations and citizen associations.

Tikhnovskaya thanked those who backed her and is ready to help with talks with the current authorities. "I ask you to unite in the coordination council. We desperately need your help and experience. We need your connections, contacts, expert advice and support. This coordination council should be joined by everyone interested in dialogue and peaceful transfer of power - working groups, parties, trade unions and other organizations of the civic society," she added.

Dialogue with authorities

The opposition leader called on the authorities to demonstrate their readiness for dialogue with people by releasing all those remanded and opening criminal cases against those who ordered "to beat and shoot at people."

"The authorities must demonstrate their readiness for dialogue with people. It means they must release all those remanded. It means they must pull riot police and troops off the streets. It means they must open criminal cases against those who issued criminal orders to beat and shoot at people," the address reads.

Tikhanovskaya stated that her campaign office is ready for dialogue with the Belarusian government. "My campaign office, the office of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, continues to work. <…> I would like to state that we are ready for dialogue with the government," she said and called on mayors of Belarusian cities to "come out and talk to people."

In this regard, she called on the international community for aid. "I would like to address the international community, European states with the request to help us establish dialogue with the Belarusian government," Tikhanovskaya said.

On August 9, Belarus held the presidential election. Earlier on Friday, the national Central Election Commission declared official results, showing incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko securing his reelection with 80.1% of the votes. His key rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came second with 10.12%. After exit poll results were revealed when voting was closed, many cities and towns across the country saw mass protests that in some cases turned into clashes with the police. The national Interior Ministry said a few thousands people had been detained since Sunday, while dozens of police officers and protesters were injured.

Tikhanovskaya’s campaign staff rejected the election results and does not recognize Lukashenko’s victory. Tikhanovskaya herself fled the country late on Monday and is now in Lithuania, latest reports suggest.