Tue, 13 Apr 2021

Autocratic leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka says there will be 'no transfer of power' in Belarus, where thousands have demonstrated acrossthe country since early August demanding his resignation over an elections they say was rigged.

'No transfer [of power] is possible in Belarus.... Everything will be in accordance with the constitution,' Lukashenka said in Minsk on March 2 as he spoke about his talks last month with President Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi.

'The [new] constitution, as I said before, we will adopt in January-February next year. And that is all that the transfer of power will be about,' Lukashenka said, adding that a transfer of power was not on the agenda when he met with Putin.

Lukashenka has been under pressure to step down for months after claiming he won an August 9 election by a landslide, while his main challenger, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, has said she was the rightful victor.

Thousands of protesters have been arrested by Belarusian security forces at the anti-government rallies that have continued since August, and beatings at the hands of police have been widely documented.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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