MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) - Viktor Lukashenko, who until now served as the First Vice President of the National Olympic Committee, has been elected President of the NOC by the Olympic Assembly, BelTA has learned.
NOC Secretary General Polina Golovina initially proposed two candidatures for the post of NOC President - Aleksandr Lukashenko and Viktor Lukashenko. “We have received proposals to nominate two candidatures,” she said.
“This is news to me that you nominated two candidatures. I thought there would be one. I did not plan to get nominated as the head of the National Olympic Committee for another term. I'll ask you, if this is ok with you, to vote for my eldest son. I vouch for him. There will be no theft, corruption, misuse of money under his leadership. Athletes and coaches will be treated kind and fair. As for me, I will still keep in touch with what is going in sport," Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He stressed that he is an avid sport fan and noted that he took charge of the NOC in the difficult 1990s to make sure things were taken care of otherwise sport would cease to exist in the country. "The only reason was to retain centralized management in sport, to ensure that federations did not compete with each other, like we saw it happened in some countries, to prevent federation heads from fighting with coaches," the president said.
“I tried to give you as much as I could. I know what sport is about. This is my love and passion,” the head of state said. “I think you can benefit from this, too. After all, the son can promptly reach his father whenever any issue arises. I think this will make things easier in a number of ways,” the president said.
“Most importantly, you hear a lot of speculations about the transfer of power. They say that Lukashenko will transfer power to the elder son to run the country. I have often said that this matter has never been discussed in our family, because none of my children will succeed me as Belarus president. If you elect Viktor, he will no longer be a civil servant. He will be relieved of his post as Aide to the President for National Security with all the ensuing consequences. I neither put pressure on you nor insist. This is your choice,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Viktor Lukashenko, for his part, noted that the post of President of the National Olympic Committee is a great responsibility. He expressed hope that together with his colleagues he will be able to contribute to the development of sport in the country. "We understand that the expectations will be great. But we want to assure you that the NOC together with the Sport and Tourism Ministry, federations and other stakeholders will do their best to make sure Belarus performs well in any sport competition," the new head of the NOC promised.
Dmitry Dovgalenok was re-elected as Vice President of the NOC. The post of First Vice President of the NOC was eliminated. The corresponding proposal was made by Viktor Lukashenko, the newly elected president of the NOC, and was supported by the Olympic Assembly. In addition, the meeting addressed a number of organizational issues, including the expulsion and admission of NOC members, the election of honorary members. The report of the NOC audit committee for the period 2019-2020 was approved.
Viktor Lukashenko served as the Acting First Vice President of the NOC from April 2019, and was elected to the post by the Olympic Assembly in November of the same year. Aleksandr Lukashenko, the head of the Belarusian state, was the President of the NOC since May 1997.