President of Belarus inaugurated despite election protests
On Wednesday, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko assumed office to serve his sixth term in the position despite controversy and protests over the elections, which many claimed were skewed in his favor. The inauguration ceremony’s date was kept a secret due to the weeks of mass protests leading up to the event. Lukashenko was sworn in at the capital city of Minsk alongside several hundred top government officials, lawmakers, and representatives of media organizations.
Opponents to Lukashenko’s rule claim that the secret inauguration further proves that his authoritarian rule lacked a valid mandate to continue. Lukashenko has exercised strict control over the country for 26 years. Although the official election results show Lukashenko winning 80% of the vote, public support was very low throughout the campaign period and has been dropping over the past several years. Therefore, claims of a rigged election emerged shortly after.