Lukashenko aware his presidency is a problem - presidential aide
The secret inauguration ceremony of Alexander Lukashenko for his sixth term as President of Belarus shows that his presidency is a problem, and Lukashenko is aware of this, presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski said on Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning, the Belarusian BelTA news agency informed that Lukashenko was sworn in as the country's president. BelTA reported on the inauguaration after its conclusion, as it had taken place in secret and with no prior announcement.
Szczerski, currently accompanying Polish President Andrzej Duda on a visit to Italy, told Polish media that Lukashenko knows that he has found himself in a problematic situation. He added that this was also evident in the way in which he was inaugurated.
"President Lukashenko's inauguration shows that his current term is a problem, and I think he himself is aware of the problematic situation he has found himself in," Szczerski said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Polish Foreign Ministry said a president elected in a non-democratic election cannot be recognised as a legal head of state.
Poland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook that undemocratic elections could not result in Lukashenko's recognition as president of Belarus.
"Belarus must be a sovereign state, and necessary conditions for this include honest elections in which Belarusians, and not a repressive apparatus, decide the appointment of authorities. Elections which are not democratic cannot result in the recognition of anyone as president," Morawiecki wrote on Facebook.
Poland and the remaining EU members have not recognised the August 9 presidential election in Belarus as free and democratic. EC head Ursula von der Leyen and representatives of the EU states have repeatedly appealed for a re-run of the elections. The EU has also imposed sanctions on members of the Belarusian authorities held responsible for brutal police repressions against protesters, who claim the elections had been rigged.
Belarus has been torn by protests since the elections, in which Lukashenko won a 6th term in office with 80.1 percent of the vote against main contender Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya's 10.1 percent. Mass demonstrations against what is held to have been a rigged vote have been continuing ever since, sparking brutal reactions from the police and security forces.