Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday to those calling for his departure that the fate of the presidency can only be decided by elections.
I want peace and quiet in the country. You definitely want that too. If someone does not like the person of the incumbent president, this problem can only be solved through elections. “No matter how much anyone likes it,” Lukashenko was quoted by state news agency Belta as saying.
He also spoke about the reason for his decision to declare 2021 the year of national unity. As he put it: This was not intended as a simple ruse, he wanted people to understand that he was not the enemy of the Belarusian people and themselves.Lukashenko, in his last presidential decree, declared this year the year of national unity to consolidate Belarusian society and strengthen national cohesion in the spirit of sovereignty and independence.
To say this has been quite a burden, as the domestic political crisis in Belarus has been going on since the presidential elections on August 9 last year. In the disputed elections, Lukashenko, 66, who ruled the country for 26 years, was officially declared president with 80.1 percent of the vote. The weekend protests have since moved by the hundreds of thousands, more than at any time in the former independent Soviet republic since 1991. Lukashenko refused to resign, promising instead some kind of constitutional reform. The brutal actions of the Internal Security Forces against the demonstrators have so far killed at least three people, and the authorities have arrested thousands to break the peaceful resistance to the Lukashenko regime. (MTI)