Lukashenka denies plans to hand over power to any of his sons

Alyaksandr Lukashenka told television network Russia Today on Friday that he had no intention to hand over power to any of his sons... \"I swore I would never pass the reins of power to any of my relatives, loved ones or children. It\'s out of the ques

 

Alyaksandr Lukashenka told television network Russia Today on Friday that he had no intention to hand over power to any of his sons, BelaPAN said.

"I swore I would never pass the reins of power to any of my relatives, loved ones or children. It's out of the question," the 58-year-old Belarusian leader stressed. "Whoever wins a fair election will have the power, like I won the first presidential election as an opposition candidate and like I have won all subsequent elections."

Mr. Lukashenka said that he had decided not even to support any presidential candidate publicly. "Everything should be honest," he said. "The people should elect their leader themselves, when they are ready for it."

Mr. Lukashenka was dismissive when a Russia Today correspondent quoted him as saying during his talks with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez last summer, "Here is my son Mikalay and this is evidence that we have laid the foundations for cooperation for the long haul and we have someone to pass the baton to in 20 to 25 years."

Mr. Lukashenka, who made this remark on record in Caracas on June 27, 2012, denied ever mentioning "passing the baton." "I said 'carry on our cause,'" he insisted. "I do remember it very well, and I said it in a very responsible way. To carry on doesn't mean to take the reins of power and get into the president's chair. We have a million boys like Lukashenko [Lukashenka] junior, and it's them who will continue the cause which Lukashenko began some time ago."

When asked whether he would support Mikalay Lukashenka if he wanted to make a career in politics, Mr. Lukashenka said that his son was free to choose his profession. "But I wouldn’t like him to become a politician," he said. "He is eight now, and he's seen enough of his father's presidency. He's never had this idea that he will be president because his father was president. I never bring up this issue at home. That's not a topic to discuss with children."

According to Mr. Lukashenka, his two grown-up sons openly admit that they "have had enough" of his presidency. "So we never talk of a power handover with them," he claimed. "And, generally, I never talk about this anywhere else. Why should I? I’m still alive and well, so I think I can carry on for some time."