Belarus’ opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikanouskaya, urges law enforcement under incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko to “switch” and “side” with the people. 

Tsikanouskaya spoke to the Belarusian people via a video address from Lithuania, where she went into exile. 

She proclaimed that she is “ready to take responsibility,” and lead the country “during this period.”

The video came as protests in Belarus’ capital city of Minsk against Lukashenko get stronger. 

Lukashenko, who has been Belarus’ ruler for more than two decades, is now facing the biggest threat to his rule since he took the presidential seat in 1994. 

Last week, the country’s election commission announced that Lukashenko won the elections with a landslide.

According to them, more than 80% of the country’s eligible voters voted for him. 

However, many people believe that the results are rigged. 

After the election result’s announcement, Tsikanouskaya went to the election commission to challenge Lukashenko’s win. 

However, she was detained by the government and, after some time, went to an exile in Lithuania. 

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have already called out Lukashenko’s violent crackdown against protesters. 

Protesters were hurt, detained, and subjected to public humiliation by the Belarusian government. 

Recently, Lukashenko announced that he is willing to hand over Belarus’ leadership post under a constitutional referendum, a Reuters report said. 

Lukashenko’s Decreasing Popularity

Protesters have been demonstrating non-stop on the streets since the election results were announced last week.

Support for Lukashenko decreased due to his poor economic policies and recent response to the pandemic.

One time, Lukashenko told Belarusian’s to drink vodka to fight the virus. 

He was also criticized for playing hockey in the middle of a pandemic. 

Workers in one of the largest state-run factories in Belarus heckled at Lukashenko during his speech last Monday. 

He eventually walked away and escaped via a helicopter due to protesters’ non-stop chanting of “step down.”

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