Coordination Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordination Council for the Transfer of Power
Belarusian: Каардынацыйная рада

Russian: Координационный совет

Coordination Council English logo.svg
Formation14 August 2020 (2020-08-14)
TypeNon-governmental organisation
PurposeTo facilitate the democratic transfer of power in Belarus
Region served
Official language
Key people
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
AffiliationsBelarusian democracy movement
Coat of arms of Belarus (2020).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Flag of Belarus.svg Belarus portal

The Coordination Council for the Transfer of Power (Belarusian: Каардынацыйная рада, romanizedKaardynacyjnaja rada; Russian: Координационный совет, romanizedKoordinatsionnyy sovyet), known often as the Coordination Council, is a Belarusian non-governmental body created by presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to facilitate a democratic transfer of power. The council, founded during the 2020 Belarusian protests in response to the disputed 2020 Belarusian presidential election, is filled with 600 members with a 7-member leadership presidium. The first meeting of the Council took place on 18 August.[1][2] From late August to mid-October, Tsikhanouskaya and several of the presidium members were arrested or chose to exile themselves from Belarus, fearing repression by Belarusian security forces.[3]

On 12 October 2020, the Council issued an ultimatum to Lukashenko to resign, release political prisoners and stop the violent crackdown on protestors by 25 October, failing which a nationwide general strike, road blockages and the collapse of sales in state-owned shops would take place.[3]



The formation of the Coordination Council was announced in a video released by Tsikhanouskaya on 14 August in which she also claimed that she had received between 60 and 70% of the vote in the 9 August presidential election, and appealed to the international community to recognise her as the winner.[4] Tsikhanouskaya stated that the aims of the council is to coordinate a peaceful and orderly transfer of power from incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko[5][6][7] and to hold a new, free and fair presidential election at the earliest opportunity.

On 17 August, Tsikhanouskaya released a video in which she stated that she was ready to lead a transitional government.[8]

On 18 August, the council held its first press conference with questions being answered by Olga Kovalkova, Maxim Znak, Maria Kolesnikova, Pavel Latushko and Sergey Dylevsky.[9]

August–September 2020[edit]

On 19 August, Tsikhanouskaya recorded an appeal to EU leaders in English, appealing to them to not recognise the results of the presidential election in a meeting of EU heads of government scheduled for later that day.[10]

On 19 August, the council elected a 7-member presidium.[11]

On 19 August, Alexander Lukashenko said that the opposition's formation of a coordinating council was "an attempt to seize power with all the ensuing consequences." He stated that the authorities would "take adequate measures, but only in accordance with the constitution and the law."[12] Lukashenko described the members of the Coordination Council, stating, "Some of them were once in or close to power. They were kicked out and hold a grudge. Others are outright Nazis. Just take a look at their names."[13][14] On the same day, former presidential contender Valery Tsepkalo said that he did not understand the criteria for the formation and tasks of the new council. He complained that he was not invited.[15]

On 20 August, Prosecutor-General Alexander Konyuk initiated criminal proceedings against the members of the Coordination Council under Article 361 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.[16][17] In a statement released, Konyuk alleged that the "creation and activity of the Coordination Council are aimed at seizure of state power, and at harming national security" and that "the creation of such bodies is not allowed in law, and they are unconstitutional."[18] On the same day, presidium members Dylevsky and Znak were summoned for police questioning.[19] Znak and Dylevsky arrived for questioning on the morning of 21 August and were later released.[20]

On 21 August, "Tsikhanouskaya's lawyer" Znak filed a formal protest in relation to the presidential election with the Supreme Court of Belarus. Znak said that "A complaint has been submitted. A decision on when to start proceedings is due within three days."[21]On 24 August, presidium members Dylevsky and Kovalkova were detained by OMON officers whilst attempting to support a wildcat strike at the Minsk Tractor Works factory.[22] Presidium members Vlasova, Latushko, Alexievich and Kolesnikova were also summoned for questioning.[23] Both Kovalkova and Dylevsky were sentenced to 10 days' imprisonment the following day.[24]

On 26 August Ivonka Survilla, President of the Rada of the Belarusian People's Republic, expressed her support for Tsikhanouskaya.[25]

On 31 August, presidium member Vlasova was detained by the OMON.[26]

On 5 September, presidium member Kovalkova chose to leave Belarus rather than remain in detention over the Section 361 charges.[27]

On 7 September, presidium member Kolesnikova was detained by unidentified masked men in Minsk.[28][29]

As of 9 September, the only member of the presidium not yet arrested or missing is laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich,[30] although there were reports from Belarusian journalists that unknown men were knocking at the doors of her home.[31] As of 9 August 2020, she is under round-the-clock guard by diplomats for several European countries including ambassadors from Poland and Lithuania.[32][33][34]

At a press conference in Poland, council member Pavel Latushko condemned the situation in Belarus, claiming that 10,000 people were subject to misconduct and imprisonment orchestrated by the security forces. He stated that 450 people were tortured and protesters were put into jail on fake charges. Latushko and Olga Kovalkova invited the OSCE and United Nations to send observers to Belarus and observe the situation there.[35]

25 October ultimatum[edit]

The exiled members of the Coordination Council Presidium, including Sergei Dylevsky, held a meeting in Vilnius on 12 October, setting an ultimatum for Lukashenko, which was announced the following day by Tsikhanouskaya and sent to "all official structures of Belarus". The ultimatum sets three conditions, calling for

  • Lukashenko to resign;
  • political prisoners to be released; and
  • the violent crackdown on protestors to cease.

The deadline for the conditions to be fulfilled was set to 25 October 2020. The council promised that if the ultimatum were not satisfied, a national general strike would begin on 26 October, roads would be blocked, and "sales in state-owned stores [would] collapse".[3]

On 16 October, Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya was put on the wanted lists in Belarus and Russia on charges of "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order".[36]

Objectives and structure[edit]


The council has stated that its primary goals are:[37]

  • To end political persecution of citizens and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
  • For the release of all political prisoners in Belarus.
  • The annulment of the 9 August presidential election and for new elections to be conducted to international standards organised by a reconstituted central elections commission.

Council presidium member Pavel Latushko stated that the council does not want to radically change the course of Belarusian foreign policy, adding that it wants to maintain "friendly and profound" relations with Russia, as well as to have a good working relationship with the European Union and to act as a bridge between the east and west.[38]


Tsikhanouskaya stated that applications to the council were open to Belarusian citizens who considered the officially declared election results to be falsified, and who were trusted by social groups. Applications were invited from individuals representing workers' groups, political parties, trade unions and other organisations of civic society and from authoritative figures such as doctors, teachers, business leaders, authors or sportspersons.[39] Olga Kovalkova and lawyer Maxim Znak were given responsibility for collating and approving membership applications.[40]


The council elected a 7-member presidium on 19 August.[11] The members of the presidium are:[41][42]

Detentions and location[edit]

Name Detentions/disappearances Out of Belarus as of/since
Tsikhanouskaya Out 11 Aug– 2020[44]
Alexievich Out 28 Sep– 2020
Dylevsky 24 Aug–17 Sep 2020[23][3] Out c. 13 Oct– 2020[3]
Kalesnikava 7 Sep– 2020[28]
Kovalkova 24 Aug–3 Sep 2020[23] Out as of 5 September 2020[27]
Latushko Out as of 9 September 2020[35]
Vlasova 31 Aug– 2020[26]
Znak 9 Sep– 2020[45]


An initial membership list, consisting of 35 members, was circulated on 17 August and expanded to 51 members on 18 August.[46][47] In addition to the 7-member presidium, other members include athlete Nadzeya Astapchuk, film director Jury Chaščavacki, civic leader Ales Bialiatski, politician Jury Hubarewicz [ru], physicist Alexander Dabravolski, politician Andrei Egorov [ru], Mikalai Kazlov of the United Civic Party of Belarus, Andrei Kureichik [ru], politician Vital Rymasheuski, painter Vladimir Tsesler [ru], former EPAM Systems top-manager Maksim Bahratsou, entrepreneur and investor Michael Rumiantsau, independent analyst Siarhei Chaly.[48][49] As of 24 August 2020, the council consisted of 600 members.[50]

Working groups[edit]

As of 16 October 2020, the Coordination Council included working groups on several socio-political themes:[51]

  • a trade union group ProfSoyuz Online for encouraging the creation of independent trade unions
  • a women's group
  • a support group for local initiatives in the districts of Belarus
  • KOTOC: legal advice for interactions with and electoral participation in sub-national formal structures (oblasts, raion)
  • an economic group
  • a business support group
  • a Christian group
  • a political prisoners and human rights group.

International reaction[edit]

Tsikhanouskaya has asked the international community to support the efforts of the Coordination Council.[52]

  • Lithuania Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda spoke with Tsikhanouskaya by telephone, offering his support for the coordination council.[55] The Prime Minister of Lithuania has also called on Belarus to conduct new, "free and fair" elections supervised by international monitors.[56] Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has referred to Lukashenko as the "former president" of Belarus.[57] On 20 August, Lithuanian prime minister Saulius Skvernelis invited Sviatlana to his office and publicly referred to her as "the national leader of Belarus.[58] On 10 September, a law was passed by the Lithuanian Parliament which recognises Tsikhanouskaya as the "elected leader of the people of Belarus" and the Coordination Council as the "only legitimate representatives of the Belarusian people". The resolution also declares that Lukashenko is an "illegitimate leader".[59]
  • Poland Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, referred to the Coordination Council as the right partner for the authorities to negotiate with.[60]
  • Russia On 25 August, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed that the leadership of the Coordination Council did not want to reduce ties with Russia and instead hoped to continue with good bilateral relationships between the two countries.[61]
  • United States The US Secretary of State in a statement urged the Belarusian government to actively engage Belarusian society, including through the newly established Coordination Council, in a way that reflects what the Belarusian people are demanding, for the sake of the future of Belarus, and for a successful Belarus.[62] The United States Government has also stated that "the people have clearly rejected the regime".[63]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "В организованном Тихановской координационном совете по передаче власти назвали дату первой встречи". канал Дождь. 17 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Ex-Belarusian presidential candidate Tikhanovskaya's HQ starts forming coordination council to ensure transition of power". Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dapkus, Liudas (13 October 2020). "Belarus opposition leader threatens nationwide strike". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 14 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Belarus opposition candidate declares victory". NHK WORLD-JAPAN News. 15 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Belarus election: Exiled leader calls weekend of 'peaceful rallies'". BBC News. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  6. ^ polishnews (15 August 2020). "Belarus. Swiatłana Cichanouska creates the Coordination Council for the "transfer of power" in the country". Polish News. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  7. ^ admin. "Belarus: opposition candidate forms Coordination Council for transfer of power | MbS News". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  8. ^ "NEXTA Live Translated to English". Telegram.
  9. ^ "Создание Координационного Совета: итоги пресс-конференции". 18 August 2020.
  10. ^ Belarus opposition leader calls on EU not to recognise 'fraudulent' elections. YouTube (19 August 2020). Retrieved on 2020-08-26.
  11. ^ a b "Структура Координационного Совета".
  12. ^ Gusarov, Sergei (19 August 2020). "«Мы это расцениваем однозначно»: Лукашенко назвал создание координационного совета оппозиции попыткой захвата власти". RT (in Russian).
  13. ^ "Opposition's coordinating council described as attempt to seize power in Belarus". 18 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  14. ^ Kuznetsova, Asya (18 August 2020). "Лукашенко назвал создание Координационного совета попыткой переворота". Komsomolskaya Pravda. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Цепкало пожаловался, что его не пригласили в координационный совет Белоруссии". (in Russian). 19 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  16. ^ "МАЯ КРАІНА БЕЛАРУСЬ". Telegram.
  17. ^ "Belarus Opens Criminal Probe Against Oppositions Coordination Council- Prosecutor General". UrduPoint.
  18. ^ Byline, No (20 August 2020). "Belarus opens criminal case against opposition leaders". BBC.
  19. ^ "Координационный совет". Facebook.
  20. ^ "Belarus Coordination Council member arrives for Investigative Committee meeting". AFP via MSN.
  21. ^ RFE/RL's Belarus Service (21 August 2020). "Belarus Opposition Files Appeal Against Presidential Election With Supreme Court". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  22. ^ Nilsson, Roland (24 August 2020) Sergei Dylevsky and Olga Kovalkova of the Coordination Council detained by police outside MTZ, Minsk. Twitter
  23. ^ a b c "Сьвятлану Алексіевіч выклікалі ў Сьледчы камітэт у справе аб закліках да «захопу ўлады»". Радыё Свабода.
  24. ^ Makhovsky, Andrei (25 August 2020) Belarus jails two opposition leaders; teachers head rally of thousands. Reuters
  25. ^ "'Keep on Fighting', veteran female leader tells young Belarusians". Reuters.
  26. ^ a b "КГК задержал члена президиума Координационного совета Лилию Власову" (in Russian). 31 August 2020.
  27. ^ a b Higgins, Andrew (7 September 2020). "Belarus protest leader vanishes amid reports of masked abductors". The Globe and Mail Inc. THE NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE.
  28. ^ a b "Belarus protests: Maria Kolesnikova 'detained by masked men'". BBC News. 7 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  29. ^ Harding, Luke; agencies (7 September 2020). "Belarus opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova 'snatched from street' in Minsk". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  30. ^ Press, The Associated (9 September 2020). "Nobel Laureate Warns Arrests Won't Stop Belarus Protests". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ a b
  36. ^ "Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on wanted list in Belarus, Russia". Deutsche Welle. 16 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  37. ^ "Итоги первого заседания Координационного Совета". 19 August 2020.
  38. ^ "Belarusian opposition ready for contacts with Russia". TASS. 20 August 2020.
  39. ^ Grekowicz, Nikita (16 August 2020). "Łukaszence został już tylko Putin, Cichanouska wzywa do lokalnego przejmowania władzy" [Lukashenko only has Putin left, Tsikhanovskaya calls for local taking over of power]. (in Polish). Archived from the original on 16 August 2020. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  40. ^ "Tikhanovskaya initiates creation of coordination council to transfer power in Belarus". TASS. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  41. ^ "Президиум" [Presidium]. Coordination Council (Belarus) (in Russian). 2020. Archived from the original on 27 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  42. ^ "В Беларуси Координационный совет оппозиции сформировал президиум". Deutsche Welle. 19 August 2020. Archived from the original on 9 September 2020.
  43. ^ Klauziński, Sebastian; Piasecki, Maciek (19 August 2020). "Powrót terroru? OMON i milicja na ulicach, Łukaszenka nie chce więcej 'zamieszek'" [Terror again? OMON and the police on the streets, Lukashenko doesn't want 'clashes']. (in Polish). Archived from the original on 20 August 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  44. ^ Kennedy, Rachael (11 August 2020). "Belarus election: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya made 'independent' decision to flee to Lithuania". Euronews. Archived from the original on 9 September 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  45. ^ "Another Belarus opposition figure detained by 'masked men'". Archived from the original on 9 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  46. ^ "Члены Координационного Совета".
  47. ^ "Вольга Кавалькова". Facebook.
  48. ^
  49. ^ "The names of the first Belarusians included in the coordination council to ensure the transfer of power have become known". 17 August 2020. Archived from the original on 17 August 2020.
  50. ^ "Do Rady Koordynacyjnej białoruskiej opozycji weszło już 600 osób" [600 people have already been included in the Belarusian opposition Coordination Council]. TVN (in Polish). Polish Press Agency. 24 August 2020. Archived from the original on 27 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  51. ^ "Рабочие группы" [Working groups]. Coordination Council (in Russian). 16 October 2020. Archived from the original on 16 October 2020. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  52. ^ "Тихановская готовится объявить себя победительницей выборов в Беларуси – пресс-секретарь".
  53. ^ "EU Calls on Belarus to Drop Criminal Case Against Opposition Body". News18.
  54. ^
  55. ^ "Lithuanian president supports Belarus opposition plan for power transition council | Politics". Devdiscourse. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  56. ^ "Baltic States Urge New Election In Belarus, Call For EU Sanctions". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.
  57. ^ "Tweet of Linas Linkevicius (@LinkeviciusL)". Twitter. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  58. ^ "Saulius Skvernelis".
  59. ^ "Dėl neteisėtos ir Baltarusijai Rusijos primetamos sąjungos" (in Lithuanian). Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  60. ^
  61. ^ Песков оценил заявление белорусской оппозиции о сотрудничестве с Россией :: Политика :: РБК. (22 December 2016). Retrieved on 2020-08-26.
  62. ^ "Supporting the Aspirations of the Belarusian People". US Department of State. 20 August 2020.
  63. ^

External links[edit]

Social media[edit]