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The 11-year-old boy being groomed to take over from Europe's last dictator

Alexander Lukashenko, frequently labelled as Europe's last dictator, has won a fifth term as president of Belarus with 84 per cent of the vote.

The vote share is significant, as Lukashenko, in power for 21 years, had said anything less than the 80 per cent he won in 2010 would be an indication that people no longed favoured his policies.

Pictures of him casting his vote in Minsk on Sunday showed him accompanied by a blonde boy wearing a matching suit.

The child is Nikolai Lukashenko, the president's 11-year-old son.

Nikolai, commonly known as Kolya, is the youngest of Lukashenko's three children, and his mother is thought to be his father's former physician.

Despite his youth, Kolya has been an almost constant companion in his father's public appearances and meetings with world leaders.

In 2008 he appeared alongside him in military uniform in the country's capital, a year later he was photographed accepting a gold pistol from Russian's then president Dmitry Medvedev.

Kolya, who has also met Hugo Chavez and Pope Benedict XVI, accompanied his father to the UN general assembly in New York recently, sitting in the main chamber and meeting with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Andrei Sannikov, a former opposition candidate for president who now lives in exile, told the Daily Telegraph:

When I see this young kid being used to humiliate foreign leaders, I just feel sorry for him. I don’t understand why they put up with it.

The expectation is that Lukashenko is preparing his son to succeed him as leader, in what has been likened to creating a North Korean-style dynasty in Europe.

Speaking to Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of The Independent and Evening Standard, in 2012 as part of a BBC interview, Lukashenko said the only reason Kolya accompanied him so frequently was his son had trouble sleeping without him.

Belarus's constitution stipulates that no one under 35 can become president, meaning Lukashenko could be preparing for another 25 years in charge.

Pictures: AP, Getty

HT Telegraph

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