“Alexander Lukashenko has taken office as President of Belarus. The inauguration ceremony is taking place in these minutes in the Palace of Independence,” the Belta state news agency reported on Wednesday, 23 September.
Alexander Lukashenko has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn’t announced in advance. State news agency Belta reported that a sudden ceremony is taking place in Minsk, with several hundred top government officials present.
As part of the ceremony, Lukashenko took an oath swearing to “serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, respect and protect rights and freedoms of people and citizens.” “Then elections chief Lidiya Yermoshina presented him with presidential credentials,” it reported.
From early morning, there were rumours about the impending inauguration. Weird activity was reported near the presidential palace: a lot of military vehicles, soldiers and police. At some point, streets were closed and roads blocked as Lukashenko’s motorcade raced through the city.
The ceremony was not shown live on state television.
The inauguration comes after six weeks of mass protests across the country since the official results of the presidential election that resulted in Lukashenko’s victory and reelection were announced. The opposition in Belarus, as well as the international community have called the election as rigged.