Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed amendments into law that guarantee him and his family lifelong immunity from prosecution, his office announced on Wednesday.
The amendments to the country’s law On the President stipulate that after leaving office, Lukashenko will become a permanent member of Belarus’s upper house of parliament, protecting him from any subsequent prosecution for “actions committed in connection with the exercise of his presidential powers,” the statement said.
In addition to ensuring Lukashenko’s future is prison-free, the amendments guarantee the president and his family lifelong state-funded security and mandate that he will be gifted a residence of his choice by the Belarusian state upon retirement.
The new legislation also stipulates that any future presidential candidate must be at least 40 years old, have lived in Belarus for 20 years before standing for election, and not be in possession of either foreign citizenship or a residence permit for another country.
Lukashenko, often labelled “Europe’s last dictator”, has ruled Belarus since 1994. After countrywide protests against electoral fraud in 2020, he has introduced increasingly draconian measures aimed at crushing all dissent and has forced the country’s opposition leaders into exile.