Tikhanovskaya Ready to Offer Lukashenko Guarantees If He Steps Down Peacefully

Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has said that the Belarusian opposition is ready to provide “security guarantees” to incumbent head of state Alexander Lukashenko, if he steps down “peacefully”, TASS reported.

When asked by journalists from the Ukrainian publication, Levy Bereg, whether security guarantees will be provided to Lukashenko if he “steps down peacefully”, Tikhanovskaya said. “This can be discussed. Of course, if he leaves peacefully, there is such a probability, I’d even say a certainty. I personally have to speak for all people, and the opinion of all people will be taken into account regarding this matter.”

In response to an additional question about security guarantees for Lukashenko, Tikhanovskaya noted that the president would get “even more.” She did not specify, however, what she meant by “substantial guarantees.”

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.