Tikhanovskaya Requested that Macron Act as a Mediator in Belarus

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At a meeting with the French President in Vilnius, the Belarusian oppositionist expressed hope for solid support from Europe. Tikhanovskaya spoke in favor of holding new elections in Belarus in 2020. One of the Belarus opposition leaders Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Vilnius on Tuesday, September 29, asked to act as a mediator in the political crisis settlement in Belarus. According to Tikhanovskaya, Macron promised to provide such assistance, together with making efforts to release political prisoners in Belarus. Prior to the meeting in the capital of Lithuania, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s press service said that the main topic of her conversation with Macron would be “the possibility of talks regarding the new presidential elections in Belarus and other countries’ possible mediation, including France.” Rerun elections in 2020 The press service noted that Tikhanovskaya is in favor of holding repeated presidential elections in Belarus in 2020 and wants the EU to pledge its support of this initiative. “It is very important that European countries did not remain indifferent to what is happening in Belarus. France, as one of the oldest democracies, understands us perfectly. Therefore, I am going to remind Mr. Macron of our main goal - new free and democratic elections, which are to be held this year,” the press service quotes Tikhanovskaya as saying. Earlier Macron called on Lukashenko to leave on his own Two days earlier, Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche that Alexander Lukashenko should leave on his own free will. Touching upon the situation that has developed in Belarus after the presidential elections, Macron said, “This is a power crisis, an authoritarian power that cannot accept the logic of democracy and which is hanging on by force.” In addition, he expressed admiration for the courage of the Belarusians participating in the protests, “They know the risks they are taking by demonstrating every weekend, and yet they are pushing forward with the movement to make democracy that has been long suppressed in this country come alive.” Protests in Belarus Protest actions against the results of the 9 August presidential elections have been going on in Belarus for a month and a half. The current head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, who has been president since 1994, was declared the winner. The most massive actions are held in Belarus on Sundays. According to media estimates, some of them attracted more than 100 thousand people. On August 18, supporters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya established a Coordinating Council (CC) with the aim of power transition in the country by holding new elections. The Belarusian authorities consider this body unconstitutional.