Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on lustrations, Crimea and turbulence after elections

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya  / Euroradio
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya  / Euroradio

“If I win, the government will keep their posts on condition that they did not commit gross violations of the law and did not give criminal orders,” presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Monday in Euroradio’s studio. In his program Questions on 27 July, Euroradio’s Zmicier Lukashuk asked Sviatlana tough questions about her stance on Crimea, lustrations, CEC chairwoman, and turbulence after the Belarusian elections, and this is the summary of what she had to say.

On Maidan in Belarus and provocations

I really hope that the authorities will change their mind and realize that we have peaceful people. Nobody wants blood, we want to have the right to choose. Only the incumbent is talking about Maidan and troops. None of us has ever called people to the square. 

This makes me think that the authorities will do what they plan to. I hope that they will think at least once over the past twenty years about the people. Look, we are many! We want changes. Allow us to elect a new president.

Will Lukashenka be able to run in a new election?

Under the 1994 Constitution, the presidency is limited to two terms in office. Mr. Lukashenka has already used those terms twice… Well, we will neglect this, but I think he should consider not taking part in the new election. He should think about his health in his retirement age.

Crimea belongs to…?

I can answer this question as a person, a woman who is against any war. It was very painful to watch the war in Ukraine and that the country [she probably means the peninsula – Euroradio] was taken. It is a very painful issue. It divides people, plays off against one another. I am going to say like it is acceptable to say in this country: under international law, Crimea is Ukrainian; de facto, it is Russian. And don’t torment me more on this.

On Three Graces

We are quite impressed that [Central Election Commission chairwoman] Lidziya Yarmoshyna calls us graces. We actually believe that deep down she supports us, expresses women’s solidarity. She did not call us ‘three witches’ or anything else… Three graces sound beautiful. We even googled later about those three graces. It is a very beautiful sculpture! Thank you very much.

On lustration

In case of my victory, the government will keep their posts on condition they did not commit gross violations of the law and did not give criminal orders. The only thing that will change is an attitude to their work. Previously, obedience was the keyword. Now, people will be able to take initiative.

It does not mean that if the new president arrives, we will break everything that was created before and build a new country from scratch. I think that many wrong decisions were taken because even the people in the government were frightened. I think there are decent people there, but they have to act against their consciousness and principles.

So, those people will stay, why not? Nobody is going to throw people, including the security forces, the police. Our people were forced to dislike policemen. 

Светлана Тихановская — о люстрации, Крыме и турбулентности на полгода
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya / Euroradio

On turbulence after elections

I am not afraid. We have a cohesive team. People who know the system from within will advise how to act the best. It will be better to live through turbulence for six months but we will eventually end up with a new president with the vision who can lead the country to a new level of development. 

It will not be easy, nobody is saying it. But the people of Belarus demand changes and they are ready to wait for six months. We have waited for twenty years. Can’t we hold on and weather 'turbulence' for just six months?


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