Belarusian opposition leader offers Lukashenko safety assurances if he ‘steps down like a decent person’
Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenka) has given no indication that he plans to relinquish the Belarusian presidency, but Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya) tried this week to incentivize his exit by publicly ensuring his safety if he steps down peacefully.
“This is all negotiable. Of course, if he leaves peacefully, like a decent person, there’s that chance. You could say there’s even certainty. Personally, I have to speak for all people and the opinion of all people will be considered in this matter,” Tikhanovskaya told Ukrainian journalists in an interview published on September 15. Asked if she was extending a security guarantee to Lukashenko, Tikhanovskaya said, “Yes. He’d be even safer.”
Mass protests erupted in Belarus on August 9, after state officials declared a landslide re-election victory for President Lukashenko. United behind Tikhanovskaya, the Belarusian opposition disputes the official results and later responded by forming a “coordination council” to prepare for a peaceful transfer of power. The state authorities are now investigating the group for inciting a coup d’etat.