Tikhanovskaya pins hopes on dialogue with Belarusian authorities

Tikhanovskaya fled to neighbouring Lithuania after the August 9 vote [Mindaugas Kulbis/AP] Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has led the biggest challenge to President Alexander Lukashenko’s 26-year rule, expressed her hopes to start a dialogue with the authorities, she told Polish Gazeta Wyborcza daily. Belarus is facing its biggest political crisis since the breakup of the Soviet Union, with tens of thousands of demonstrators rejecting Lukashenko’s victory in an August 9 vote his opponents say was rigged. Opponents …

Belarusian challenger leaves the country amid protests

MINSK, Belarus — The top opposition candidate in Belarus’ presidential vote, who refused to concede her defeat amid a massive police crackdown on protesters, said Tuesday she has left the country and is now in Lithuania. Looking tired and distressed, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a former teacher and political novice, apologized to her supporters in a video statement and said it was her own choice to leave the country. “It was a very hard decision to make,” she said. “I know that …