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Lukashenko sworn in as Belarusian president

The inauguration ceremony was attended by several hundred people

MINSK, September 23. /TASS/. Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in as the Belarusian president on Wednesday, BelTA news agency reported.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by several hundred people, is taking place at Independence Palace. Lukashenko took the oath of office in the Belarusian language, putting his hand on the Constitution, and signed the certificate of the inauguration.

Later, Election Commission Chairperson Lidiya Ermoshina gave him the presidential certificate.

"Assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Belarus, I solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of man and of the citizen, to observe and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, and to fulfill strictly and conscientiously the lofty duties that have been bestowed upon me," Lukashenko said, according to BelTA.

The ceremony was attended by senior officials, members of the parliament and heads of government bodies, local executive bodies, the national media, scientists, figures of culture and sports.

Belarus held the presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.