Lukashenko should not be recognised as Belarusian president - ministry

YAUHEN YERCHAK/PAP/EPA

A president elected in a non-democratic election cannot be recognised as a legal head of state, the Polish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday responding to earlier reports about the swearing in of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

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 took place in secret and with no prior announcement.

"A president elected in a non-democratic election cannot be recognised as someone who is legally exercising power, regardless of whether he was sworn in secretly or officially," the ministry wrote on Twitter.

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.