Belarusian opposition ready for dialogue with authorities given election recount

MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. Member of the presidium of the Belarusian Coordination Council Pavel Latushko thinks the dialogue of opposition with the current government of the country is possible on the condition that the votes in the presidential election are recounted and the acts of violence against the protesters are investigated.

“If a new Central Election Commission is elected which will again analyze all the results of the electoral campaign, will conduct an independent vote count, will evaluate the violations of the acting legislation, if the authorities initiate [criminal cases], investigate and hold responsible the individuals guilty of mass acts of violence; if the authorities cease detaining people simply for their right to attend rallies, release all political prisoners, then I, Pavel Latushko, would potentially see this opportunity for a dialogue,” he said on Tuesday during the Vremya Pokazhet (Time Will Tell) TV show on Channel One.

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However, he asserted that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “would never go for it.”

He also claimed that “nobody has real facts confirming that there are organized acts of violence on the part of peaceful protesters, neither the government, nor the media outlets.”

Earlier the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko denied the possibility of a dialogue with the opposition representatives, stating that he will only conduct it with groups of workers.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.

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