This stunning brunette frequently featured at the side of Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko – dubbed ‘Europe’s last dictator’ – is hoping to become an MP.
Maria Vasilevich, 22, was the winner of the Miss Belarus beauty contest last year and has now started a campaign to see herself nominated as a member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly.
She is frequently seen as the companion of Lukashenko at official events where she is described as his “close friend” in official media reports.
The autocratic Lukashenko, 65, who is often described as “Europe’s last dictator” celebrated 25 years in power this year with no signs of stepping down.
And the president seems keen to actively support the young woman who some local media have linked by more than friendship and mutual business relationships.
Vasilevich told local media: “Citizens have an image of a deputy who is slightly different from me, everyone is probably used to seeing older people in this role, so the question of my young age is very popular. But I remind you that the minimum age of a deputy is approved by law – it is 21 years old, and I am already 22 years old.
“Seriously, I would really like people in parliament to speak the same language with my generation, which is why I have started a campaign to nominate myself as a member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly.”
Refuting allegations in local media that she is being helped by the country’s leader, she also said: “I graduated from the Department of Economics and Management of the Belorussian State Economic University and entered the magistracy, I always reach my goals. I myself decided to submit my candidacy to become an MP, all that is said about the help of President Lukashenko is rumours.”
Lukashenko’s spokeswoman Natalya Eismont confirmed that the country’s leader personally assisted the girl with her preparations for beauty contests. Online commentators and local media noted that after moderate success as a beauty contestant, he now seemed determined to help her with a political career.
Opposition politicians have criticised that anybody approved by Lukashenko is assured of a place in the country’s parliament. As a result they say that her success in the upcoming elections is almost guaranteed.
Meanwhile, her successes have continued as she campaigns for more support in the country starting with the awarding of an important prize in Belarus “For Spiritual Revival”.
It was handed over by Alexander Lukashenko himself in which he praised her for her contribution to the development of international cultural cooperation and active charitable activities.
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Story By: Amelia Guran, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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