Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, on Saturday, congratulated Joe Biden on his victory at the U.S. presidential elections and expressed the hope that they could meet soon.
Tikhanovskaya said in a Telegram message from exile in Lithuania that the entire world had watched the elections in the United States, which she described as a functioning democracy.
“This was a real race of ideas, programmes and teams; unlike Belarus, where votes at elections were simply stolen, in the United States the vote of every voter was taken into account,” she said.
Tikhanovskaya was the opposition candidate at the August presidential election in Belarus, in which the incumbent, Alexandre Lukashenko ,– in power since 1994 – won a hotly contested victory.
Since then, the Belarus opposition has been calling for the resignation of Lukashenko, who has been facing a historic protest movement that mobilises tens of thousands of demonstrators each week, despite police violence and thousands of arrests.
Stressing that Biden had often taken strong positions in support of the people of Belarus, Tikhanovskaya said she was convinced he would meet soon with “the fairly elected president of a new free Belarus.” She also asserted that many Belarussians living in the United States had voted for Biden.
Earlier on Saturday, President Lukashenko described the U.S. election as a “parody of democracy”, saying he did not expect his relations with Washington would change, whatever the election result.
Tikhanovskaya, a 38-year-old newcomer to the political scene, has the support of many European leaders, who have refused to recognise the results of the presidential election in Belarus.
After almost three months of protests, the situation appears to be at an impasse, with Lukashenko still refusing to step down.