MINSK: Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belaru for 21 years. As dictators do, Lukashenko has jailed opponents, crushed opposition marches and as the rumour goes has sanctioned hits on his rivals.
If two decades of being ruled by a Lukashenko wasn’t enough for Belarus, Alexander is now training his 11-year old son Nikolai as his heir.
Known as Europe’s last dictator Alexander is accompanied by his young son popularly known as “Kolya”, he started his public career at the age of 4 when he reviewed the annual independence day parade in Minsk.
He has accompanied his father on official tours, being photographed with global leaders who have treated him as an official guest.
At an age when most children are still playing with toys, Kolya at seven years had met Pope Benedict XVI, Dmitry Medvedev – who by the way gave the young boy a golden pistol as a gift, which he carries till today when reviewing military parades in Belarus.
In 2012 when Kolya met and high-fived Chavez, his jacket slipped back to reveal his holstered pistol on his belt. It is not confirmed if the young Belarussian was armed when he met Michelle and Barrack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly which he attended with his father.
The Belarussian constitution has a minimum age requirement of 35 as for a president, meaning if Nikola is being groomed to take over from his father; Mr Lukashenko is planning to rule for another 25 years before his young sons is eligible.