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Lukashenka Sworn In As Belarusian President Again

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka takes the oath of office during an inauguration ceremony in Minsk on November 6.

MINSK -- Belarus's President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has been inaugurated for the fifth time following an election that was judged by Western monitors to be neither free nor fair.

Lukashenka took the oath during a ceremony at Minsk's Independence Palace on November 6, saying, "I swear to serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, respect and defend human and civil rights and freedoms, observe and protect the Belarusian Constitution, and fulfill my high obligations solemnly and honestly."

After the event, Lukashenka praised a recent decision by the United States and European Union to suspend most sanctions against Belarus, saying that "the West has seen a decent partner."

Lukashenka, who has ruled the former Soviet republic with an iron fist almost unchallenged for 21 years, won a fifth term last month with 83.5 percent of the vote.

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    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.