Tikhanovskaya calls on protesters in Belarus to refrain from use of force

MINSK, September 13. /TASS/. Former candidate for Belarusian president Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has once again called on protesters to refrain from the use of force against law enforcers.

“History has a lot of examples when peaceful protests led to the overthrow of regimes,” she said in a live YouTube address. “And knowing how much the Belarusian people wants it, we will be able to do it. Our principled position is that we must not use violence in response to violence.”

According to Tikhanovskaya, the key goal of the opposition Coordination Council is the organization of new elections. She said however she doesn’t know so far what she will do in case of rerun elections.

Tens of thousands of people took part in protests in Minsk on Sunday. According to tut.by, several dozens of people were detained during protests in Grodno. It also said that protests had been held in other Belarusian cities, including Mogilev, Baranovichi, and Vitebsk.

Grassroots protests have been held in Belarus since the August 9 presidential elections. According to the official results released by the Central Election Commission, the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko, won 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, scored 10.12% of votes but refused to recognize the voting outcome. She soon left Belarus for Lithuania. In the first days, the rallies morphed into fierce clashes between the protesters and the law enforcement officers. . The authorities demand illegal rallies be stopped, while the Coordination Council set up by the opposition calls for further protests.

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