The representative Alexander Lukashenko was appointed on Wednesday for his sixth term at the head of the former Soviet republic in a ceremony that was not announced in advance, the official Belarusian agency Belta reported.
“Alexander Lukashenko took the oath of office in the Belarusian language, then signed the minutes and the president of the Electoral Commission (…) He gave him the certificate of president of the Republic of Belarus,” the agency confirmed.
“The Day of Our Victory”
“As president of Belarus I solemnly swear to serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, respect and protect the rights and freedoms of individuals and citizens…” Lukashenko said with his right hand on a copy of the country’s Constitution.
“The day of inauguration as president is the day of our victory, convincing and crucial. Not only have we elected the country’s president, but we have defended our values, our peaceful life, our sovereignty and independence,” the representative added.
Biggest wave of protests in post-Soviet history
The ceremony took place at the Independence Palace of Minsk and was attended by parliamentarians and other authorities of the country.
According to official data, Lukashenko was re-elected with 80.1 percent of the vote in last August 9 election, an outcome that is not recognized by the opposition and has unreleased the biggest wave of protests in Belarusian post-Soviet history.
Opposition threatens indefinite protests
In reaction to the investiture, the Belarusian opposition today announced indefinite protests: “We will never accept fraud and demand new elections,” Pavel Latushko, one of the leaders of the Belarusian opposition, said on Telegram.
Latushko, a former Minister of Culture and a member of the presydium of the Coordinating Council for the Peaceful Transfer of Power, added that this opposition platform calls everyone to “an action of indefinite disobedience.”
German government does not recognize Lukashenko
For its part, the German government made it clear that it does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as re-elected president of Belarus and is still confident of reaching an agreement at European Union (EU) level to sanction those responsible for state repression and voter fraud.
Today’s investiture ceremony for a sixth term in Minsk is not “a legitimization” of Lukashenko’s election victory, German Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.