MINSK, September 10. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he has no intention of ceding power and will not let it 'wallow in the mud'.
"I would like to tell you in a manly way, so as not to leave a word unspoken. I’m often reproached: "He will not cede power." This is correct. That’s not what the people elected me for. <...> Power is given not to be abandoned or given away. In the mid-1990s, it was wallowing in the mud. Some wiped their feet on it. And on you, those in the law enforcement. Many of you remember this period. I do not want Belarus to get back to those days. Nobody will dare throw mud at the authorities, contrary to what they demand," the BelTA new agency quotes Lukashenko as saying at a ceremony where he introduced the country’s new prosecutor general, Andrei Shved, to his subordinates.
He reiterated that the change of power in the country might take place not under the pressure of street protests, but in accordance with the law.
"If you think that I’m holding onto power, with my hands blue with strain, for my own sake, you will strongly disappoint me. <...> Sooner or later others will take this power, but they will do so in accordance with the law, and not under pressure from street demonstrations," Lukashenko said.
In Belarus’ August 9 presidential election Lukashenko emerged the winner with 80.1% of the vote. The runner-up, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who received 10.12%, did not recognize the election returns. Right after the election returns were made public several Belarusian cities saw mass protests. During the first days there were clashes with police. The opposition’s Coordination Council has been calling for further protests. The authorities say illegal demonstrations must be brought to an end.