On July 14, Belarus’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) announced the list of candidates registered for the upcoming Belarusian President elections.
Among those who made it, along with incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, was Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a former English teacher and a housewife with no prior political experience.
When she emerged from CEC’s building, holding her signed registration document, journalists and allies congratulated her, but she seemed hesitant.
“I’m not sure if I want this congratulations,” she said with a slight smile.
The 37-year-old mother of two had been receiving threats over her decision to run in the elections, which forced her to send her children out of the country, accompanied by their grandmother.
Tikhanovskaya has been honest about her lack of experience in politics and has said she had made the decision to join the presidential race spontaneously. It followed the arrest of her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky, a popular Youtube blogger who had tried to register as a candidate.
Tikhanovskaya had hoped this would draw attention to his case and help get him released but had not really expected the authorities would actually allow her to run. Read here