President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn’t announced in advance.
State news agency Belta reported that Wednesday’s ceremony took place in the capital of Minsk, with several hundred top government official present.
During the inauguration ceremony, Lukashenko swore to “serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, respect and protect rights and freedoms of people and citizens.”
It comes after six weeks of mass protests against the official results of the Aug. 9 presidential election that resulted in Lukashenko’s reelection after 26 years in office.
The opposition in Belarus has challenged the election as rigged.