The opposition leader asked the bloc to ‘support the awakening of Belarus.’
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has called on EU leaders to reject President Alexander Lukashenko’s claims of victory in this month’s election.
“I call on you not to acknowledge these fraudulent elections,” Tikhanovskaya said in a video released ahead of Wednesday’s European Council meeting. “Mr. Lukashenko has lost all the legitimacy in the eyes of our nation and the world.”
Starting at midday Wednesday, EU leaders will hold a videoconference to discuss the situation in Belarus, where protesters have held huge demonstrations demanding Lukashenko’s resignation.
Lukashenko had claimed victory with 80 percent of votes in the August 9 election, a widely contested result. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the vote as “neither free nor fair.”
In the same video, Tikhanvoskaya announced her plan for a peaceful transition of power.
“I have initiated the National Coordination Council of Belarus. It will lead the process of the peaceful transfer of power via dialogue. It will immediately call for new, fair and democratic presidential elections with international supervision,” she said.
She added: “Honorable leaders of Europe, I call on you to support the awakening of Belarus.”
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said Wednesday morning he expected new sanctions to be announced following the European Council meeting.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu also expressed hope that action would be taken after the videoconference.
In an interview with Times Radio Breakfast on Wednesday morning, he said: “I hope that the European leaders will give a strong and clear message, that they will stress also the importance of executing targeted sanctions against these people who are guilty of violence and electoral fraud, and also that [the] European Union will give a clear message about supporting civic society, free journalism media in Belarus.”
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/tikhanovskaya-urges-eu-leaders-to-reject-belarus-election-result/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication