President of Belarus inaugurated despite disputed election
President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus assumed his sixth term of office Wednesday during an inauguration ceremony that officials did not announce in advance after weeks of mass protests against the authoritarian leader's reelection, which opposition activists maintain was rigged.
State news agency Beltra reported that the swearing-in ceremony took place in the capital of Minsk with several hundred top government officials, lawmakers, representatives of media organizations and other prominent figures present.
Lukashenko, 66, took an oath in Belarusian with his right hand on the country's Constitution, and the head of the country's central election commission handed him the official ID card of the president of Belarus.
"The day of assuming the post of the president is the day of our victory, convincing and fateful," Lukashenko said at the ceremony. "We were not just electing the president of the country — we were defending our values, our peaceful life, sovereignty and independence.”