Lukashenka again dismisses rumors that he wants to be succeeded by one of his sons

In an interview given to Ukraine\'s edition of the Russian newspaper Izvestia ahead of his visit to Kyiv, the Belarusian leader blamed his political opponents for spreading the rumors...

 

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has again dismissed rumors that he is grooming one of his sons as his successor.

Александр Лукашенко. Фото РИА Новости

In an interview given to Ukraine's edition of the Russian newspaper Izvestia ahead of his visit to Kyiv, the Belarusian leader blamed his political opponents for spreading the rumors. "They started reproaching me that Mikalay is my alleged heir. But he needs 30 more years to try to become president. I will no longer be alive by that time," he said, referring to his youngest son, who turns nine this August.

"This is a common made-up story intended to scare people, it alleges that Lukashenka will be in power until Kolya grows up. They thought that the people would become afraid of that. But we have a compact country and a smart people that is not worried [by that]," he was quoted as saying by the paper on Tuesday.

Mr. Lukashenka also addressed rumors that his eldest son, Viktar, wanted to become president. "This is more likely to be true," he acknowledged. "But I don’t want my son to be president. You cannot imagine what presidency means to my family. I want my children to live peaceful lives and not to have sticks thrown at us."

He added that he could not strip his children of the right to run for president, "but the eldest [son] says that my presidency is enough for him."

Mr. Lukashenka described Viktar as his loyal aide and an additional "source of information." "He comes in and tells dad what he finds necessary," he said.

According to Mr. Lukashenka, Viktar is in control of the Presidential Administration's Operational and Analytical Center that oversees the work of law enforcement and security agencies. "But I have never told my son that I will leave and he will stay," Mr. Lukashenka stressed. // BelaPAN