Lukashenko sworn in as Belarusian president

Lukashenko sworn in as Belarusian president

Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in as the Belarusian president today, BelTA news agency reported.

The inauguration ceremony, attended by several hundred people, is taking place at Independence Palace in Minsk. Lukashenko took the oath of office in the Belarusian language, putting his hand on the Constitution, and signed the certificate of the inauguration.

Later, Election Commission Chairperson Lidiya Ermoshina gave him the presidential certificate.

"Assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Belarus, I solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of man and of the citizen, to observe and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, and to fulfill strictly and conscientiously the lofty duties that have been bestowed upon me," Lukashenko said, according to BelTA.

The ceremony was attended by senior officials, members of the parliament and heads of government bodies, local executive bodies, the national media, scientists, figures of culture and sports.

The ceremony, which would normally be publicised in advance as a major state occasion, follows a disputed election on August 9 in which Lukashenko, in power since 1994, claimed a landslide victory. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. The opposition accused him of massive vote-rigging.

After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities.