Belarus' Lukashenko says only elections can decide future of presidency
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 07 January 2021 7:28 AM
Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko says only elections can decide the future of his presidency, as Minsk plans to hold a referendum on constitutional reforms in the wake of anti-government rallies.
"I would like to see a calm and quiet country. You surely wish the same. If you dislike your current president, only elections can resolve this issue. Only elections, I insist on this, however strongly some may dislike this," said the 66-year-old Lukashenko in a speech during a visit to the Gorizont plant in Minsk on Wednesday.
Belarus has been in turmoil since the August 9, 2020 presidential election, which Lukashenko won. His main political opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, rejected the official results and alleged voter fraud. The United States and the European Union (EU) have repeated the allegation, rejecting Lukashenko's re-election.
Tsikhanouskaya has been attempting to incite protests against the Belarusian government from Lithuania, where she has fled to.
Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has rejected the allegations of vote rigging, accusing Western countries of inciting protests and conspiring to oust him.
Earlier, he said a referendum would be held on constitutional reforms that he proposed in the wake of the protests against his re-election. However, he did not say when the plebiscite would be held.
Elsewhere in his remarks on Wednesday, Lukashenko said, "One and all should understand that I am not an enemy to my own people or to myself," he said, insisting that above all, he would like to see calm in the country.
Lukashenko has declared 2021 the Popular Unity Year, saying that the declaration is aimed at consolidating society and the people on the basis of the ideas of sovereignty and independence.
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