GENEVA, September 24. / TASS /. The inauguration of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko does not require a separate statement of recognition or non-recognition from Bern, because the Swiss principle recognizes only the state, not their government, the Swiss Foreign Ministry told TASS Thursday.
In response to a request to remove Switzerland’s position on the recognition or non-recognition of Lukashenko as President of Belarus, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger stated that “it is not Swiss practice to recognize or not recognize the government.”
“In principle, Switzerland only recognizes the state,” the spokesman said. “The election results, however, must represent the will of the people.”
On Wednesday, Lukashenko was sworn in as President of Belarus for the sixth time. For the first time in history, the date of the ceremony was not announced in advance. After the ceremony, a number of countries stated that they did not recognize Lukashenko’s legitimacy. The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced that the Union considers Lukashenko’s inauguration and the term of the new president to lack sufficient democratic legitimacy and is therefore reconsidering its relationship with the republic.
National demonstrations have swept Belarus after the 9 August presidential election. According to the official results of the Central Election Commission, the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the vote. However, he refused to recognize the election results, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in the city center of Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the initial post-election period, the rallies saw violent clashes between protesters and police. The current unrest is being fueled by the opposition Coordinating Council, which has hit the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have punished the ongoing disorder and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.
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