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Belarus will never forget or forgive: Tikhanovskaya to Al Jazeera | News

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Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has said the country’s people have changed and will no longer accept President Alexander Lukashenko, whose controversial re-election in recent polls has sparked mass protests.

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera on Saturday, Tikhanovskaya, who is in exile in neighbouring Lithuania, said Lukashenko should “step away” and “it is better for everybody”.

“Sooner or later he will have to step away. It’s better for everybody. It’s better for the country if it will happen in the shortest time,” the 37-year-old leader said.

“The Belarusian people have changed. They will never accept the old authorities.”

The former Soviet republic has been rocked by weeks of anti-government protests following a controversial election earlier this month that saw Lukashenko claim a landslide victory for a sixth straight term.

The 65-year-old strongman’s opponents say the August 9 presidential vote was marred by irregularities, and have called for a fresh election.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have since staged mass rallies across the Eastern European country to demand an end to Lukashenko’s 26-year rule.

The government responded to the unprecedented protests with a violent crackdown in which at least two people have died, while dozens of others were arrested and allegedly tortured in custody.

Belarus protests: Rights groups compile torture evidence

An embattled Lukashenko on Saturday ordered his defence minister to take “stringent measures” to defend the country’s territorial integrity against the mass protests.

When asked if she was worried that there could be more bloodshed if the movement continued, Tikhanovskaya said the crackdown was the “biggest mistake” of the authorities.

“The violence that Belarusian authorities showed to their people, I consider that to be their greatest mistake ever. I call for authorities to not repeat this mistake because our people will never forget and forgive our president,” said the former English teacher.

On being asked if she was planning to return from exile, Tikhanovskaya said she wanted to go back to Belarus, but did not feel safe in her country any more.

“I am safe here in Lithuania but I don’t feel safe in Belarus now,” she said, adding that she also feared for her husband and YouTube blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, who was arrested after he tried to register as a candidate for the presidential poll.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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