8 July 2015, Wednesday, 3:06

Will Lukashenka confiscate his own property?

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A new “anti-corruption” campaign has started in Belarus ahead of the presidential election.

Belarusian ruler Aliaksandr Lukashenka announced the start of a populist campaign at a meeting on July 31 to discuss improvements of anti-corruption laws

“We plan to introduce a mechanism of a closer control over incomes and property of high-ranking officials and their relatives,” Lukashenka said in Minsk on Thursday.

“People should know how officials and their families live, where they get money from, how they acquired their property. It is a normal international practice,” the ruler underscored.

It is planned to confiscate property of officials if its cost obviously exceed their incomes from legal sources. “If it is revealed that an official lives beyond his or her means, the part of the property that was obtained illegally is subject to seizure,” Lukashenka promised.

Other sanctions include restrictions on pensions for civil servants and army officers involved in grave and very grave corruption and other crimes, and a ban on holding government posts for those who committed certain crimes.

Belarusian society has been demanding transparent information about incomes of government officials for several years. Lukashenka came to power in 1994 positioning himself as an anti-corruption fighter. Some years later, he held an illegal referendum and legalised the so called presidential fund, which resources can be spent at the discretion of the dictator.

Experts estimate the fortune of the Lukashenka family at 8-12 billion dollars. The dictator does not hide he accepts expensive gifts from oligarchs, buys a luxurious airliner and constructs a residence worth 600 million dollars. Aliaksandr Lukashenka demonstrates public his watch worth 17,000 dollars and wears clothes with the price significantly exceeding his official salary.

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