On August 16th, the main opposition “leader” in Belarus (fled to Lithuania recently) – Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said that she was ready to lead the nation in a video published no YouTube.
This is a very obvious forming of a government-in-exile, which has been seen in more than one situation when regime change was the policy of outside players in a country.
“I did not want to be a politician. But fate decreed that I’d find myself on the frontline of a confrontation against arbitrary rule and injustice,” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said in a new video from exile in Lithuania.
“I am ready to take responsibility and act as a national leader during this period.”
“We all want to get out of this endless circle we found ourselves in 26 years ago,” Tikhanovskaya said.
The 37-year-old former English teacher said she would release the remaining 2,000 people arrested during the protests and hold “real, honest, and transparent elections that will be unconditionally accepted by the international community”.
As mentioned, before quickly rebranding herself as a politician, Tikhanovskaya was an English teacher, she decided to pursue a “political career” after her husband, a Presidential candidate in opposition of Lukashenko was sent to prison.
Tikhanovskaya called on Belarus’s security apparatus to abandon President Alexander Lukashenko and help smooth the grounds for a transition of power.
“Belarusians are fair and generous people who don’t accept violence,” she said. “If you decide not to obey criminal orders and take the side of the people, they will forgive you, support you, and won’t say a word against you in the future.”
In presumed response, and in evidence that he has very apparently lost the “propaganda war”, Alexander Lukashenko said that he was ready to share power.
Amid increasing demands to quit after the biggest protest against him yet, Lukashenko faced heckling from workers at a factory he visited in Minsk in front of people chanting “Step Down” as he tried to answer their questions.
He said that this sharing of power would happen through constitutional process and not through street actions.
“Are you talking about unfair elections and want to hold fair ones? <…> I am answering this question for you. We held elections. Until you kill me, there will be no other elections,” Lukashenko told the workers.
“You are working people, you know me. You have always supported the president, I also know that,” he added, to which people shouted: “No! ”. To this Lukashenka answered them: “Thank you.”
The strike at MZKT, which is a state-run company is a strong signal, since the plant is the most significant economic establishment in the country, and a symbol of Lukashenko’s economic and social policy. It operates almost entirely thanks to Russian contracts, since it produces chassis for military vehicles.
The strikes, massive protests and the activity of the opposition’s propaganda network have made it impossible for Lukashenko to remain in power effectively.
His government’s ability is de fact undermined since any attempts to enforce any laws would be met with accusations of repression and accusations of aggression against the citizens.
The failure of the propaganda war is reinforced by the fact that at least a part of workers of the Belarusian state television said that it supported the protests. At some moment, the BT TV station broadcasted an empty studio.
Рабочие БТ(основного гос канала) вышли на страйк. В итоге в эфире просто играла музыка, а в последствии и вообще был выключен свет. Нереальный респект рабочим БТ за их гражданскую позицию. pic.twitter.com/DHENRw1Gpf
— РБ головного мозга (@belamova) August 17, 2020
The walkout comes after thousands of people rallied outside BT, holding banners with slogans such as “Show people the truth.” State television news initially ignored the demonstrations and gave Lukashenko’s supporters preference in its reporting of the elections, sparking complaints of skewed coverage. As a result, several prominent state television journalists resigned in protest.
“Like everyone we are demanding free elections and the release of those detained at mass protests,” one employee, Andrei Yaroshevich said.
At the same time, President Alexander Lukashenko remains decisive in his efforts to oppose the foreign-funded regime change attempt.
“Some people have the opinion that the Belarusian power has fallen, but the power will never fall, you just have to be patient,” he said.
The Lukashenko government has already successfully countered the street riots and is now working to overcome the political crisis erupted in the country. If it achieves a success in it by finding understanding with the general mass of protestors (not motivated by foreign funding or strong ideological motivation), Lukashenko will be able to stabilize the situation. The recent promises of reforms and power sharing by the Belarusian leader is an apparent signal of the plan to move in this direction.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- West Offers Poisonous ‘Hand Of Friendship’ To Lukashenko Amid Mass Protests Against His Government
- Belarus Protests’ Main Propaganda Channel Operated Out Of Poland
- Belarus Kicks Off Large-Scale Military Drills Near Poland, Lithuania. Lukashenko Is Losing Propaganda War To Western-backed Opposition