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Svetlana Tikhanovskaya: I’m Ready To Act As National Leader

On Monday, Belarusian opposition challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya appealed to the nation in a new video announcing her readiness to become a national leader.

Recall that Tikhanovskaya had to leave Belarus after the presidential election and is currently in Lithuania. She stated that the country is going through a difficult period in its history and in these day she cries with everyone as the victims of peaceful  protests are buried.

“I’ve never had any delusions about my political career. I didn’t want to be a politician, but fate put me on the very front line in the fight against arbitrariness and injustice. It was fate and all of you, who believed in me, who gave me strength. Not a minute passes that I don’t admire your courage, your self-organisation and how strong and brilliant you are. 

You gave me your votes, I do appreciate it, I know for sure why you did it. We all want to get out of this endless circle where we found ourselves 26 years ago. I am ready to take responsibility and act as a national leader during this period so that the country can calm down and enter the normal rhythm.”

She demanded to release all political prisoners and prepare as soon as possible the legislative framework and conditions to organise new presidential election “real, fair, and transparent election that will be accepted unequivocally by the world community.”

Over the past few months, it has become evident to the entire world that Belarusians are people who can self-organise, make the right decisions, and stand up for themselves and their loved ones. But what is more important is that we ourselves finally understood this.”

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She also stated that “we have no right now to loose the creative energy, the positive social changes, and the determination we’ve gained and can use to change our country.”

“I understand that the most important thing is the independence of Belarus. This is the constant that cannot be lost under any circumstances. Every time my heart was filled with love and pride when I learned abou tpolling station workers honestly counting votes, ignoring pressure from the authorities, and about law enforcement officers lowering their shields at the feet of ordinary peaceful Belarusians. This will go down in history as actions that have become a sign of the time – the time of liberation.”

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also adressed the security forces:

“Belarusians are people who reject violence, Belarusians are generous and fair. And if you decide not to execute criminal orders and come over to the side of the people, they will forgive you, support you and won’t won’t speak bad against you in the future.

I think you know and understand this very well. After all, we are all one, though a certain someone wants to tear us apart and pit us against each other. We are Belarusians. We have no right to raise a hand against one another. With a cool head, we need to assess  what is happening, ask ourselves a simple question: who benefits most from our confrontation? We are one, and you should know that we will always accept you if your intentions are pure and your remorse is sincere. 

Recall that Tikhanovskaya fled to Lithuania last week under pressure from the government. Before that she called for peaceful protests across throughout the country, which have been taking place daily since the presidential election on 9 August, many believe are rigged.


The text was translated by Ivan Zayats

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