RUSSIALINK: “Former presidential candidate Tikhanovskaya wants to be Belarusian interim president for 45 days” – Interfax

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

MINSK. Dec 7 (Interfax) – Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has said that she is willing to lead the country in the transitional period and serve as an interim president for 45 days.

“I hope to be the leader for 45 days,” Tikhanovskaya said in an interview with the tut.by website in response to the question whether she sees herself as the future Belarusian leader.

“This time may be dragged on, it was also dragged on in other countries,” Tikhanovskaya’s adviser for international affairs Franak Viacorka said.

“But our task is to do this as soon as possible, so that new elections take place, take place under normal conditions and everyone has the same conditions for competition,” the adviser said.

The talks with the current authorities are inevitable, Tikhanovskaya added.

“And when agreements are reached, political prisoners are released, this transitional period will begin, which will lead to new elections. I think that all documents will be finalized by that time and will describe everything in detail there. However, everything depends on negotiations and on who will be at this negotiating table and where the former president will be at that time,” she said.

Speaking about the dialogue with Russia, the former presidential candidate said some Belarusians reproach her for not working enough with Russia, and some others believe “that I am already too persistently asking them for some kind of dialogue.”

Tikhanovskaya’s senior political adviser Alexander Dobrovolsky clarified that their team had unofficial contacts with the Kremlin.

“In principle, there were unofficial contacts. Not at the top level […]. It was at the level of experts and people who can influence decision-making, but there were no significant results,” he said.

“It cannot be said that all of these contacts were with people who make decisions.” Dobrovolsky said.

“I am unaware that someone reached the level of decision-making,” the adviser said.