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Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya issues ‘people’s ultimatum’ to the Belarusian authorities

Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya) announced a “people’s ultimatum” addressed to the Belarusian authorities on Tuesday, October 13. The statement appeared on the official Telegram channel for her press service.

Tikhanovskaya has given the Belarusian authorities 13 days — until October 25 — to fulfill the following demands: 1. Lukashenko announcing his resignation, 2. Putting a stop to the use of violence against peaceful protesters, and 3. Releasing political prisoners.

If these demands are not met, the authorities can expect intensified protests, Tikhanovskaya said.

“If our demands are not be met by October 25, the entire country will peacefully take the streets with the People’s Ultimatum. And on October 26, a national strike of all enterprises, the blocking of all roads, and a collapse in sales at state stores will begin. You have 13 days to fulfil three conditions. We have 13 days to prepare, and Belarusians will continue their peaceful and persistent protest all this time,” the announcement states. 

On October 10, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had a phone conversation with her husband, opposition blogger Sergey Tikhanovsky (Syarhey Tsikhanouski), who was jailed in Belarus in May. This was the first time they had spoken in 134 days.

That same day, Tikhanovsky and other Belarusian political prisoners met with Alexander Lukashenko at the KGB pre-trial detention center in Minsk. Lukashenko initiated the meeting as a joint discussion on amending the country’s constitution.

After the meeting, Svetlana Tikhanovskay stated that she doesn’t believe “in dialogue at gunpoint.”