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Belarusian opposition figurehead gives Minsk two weeks to meet demands

These include the incumbent president’s resignation, cessation of dispersals of protests and release of all arrested opposition figures
Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Natalia Fedosenko/TASS
Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
© Natalia Fedosenko/TASS

VILNIUS, October 13. /TASS/. Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya announced that the Belarusian opposition intends to move to active actions in two weeks’ time if its demands are not met.

"We declare a national ultimatum on October 25," she wrote on her Telegram channel. Tikhanovksaya added that the opposition expects the national authorities to comply with all their demands before this date, including incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko’s resignation, while law enforcement agencies should stop dispersing protests and release all arrested opposition figures.

Tikhanovskaya claims that if the authorities fail to meet these demands, the opposition will organize strikes, block off roads and will call on their supporters to stop purchasing goods in state shops.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. 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.