Belarus’ Lukashenko picks potatoes in campaign photo op

Belarus’ Lukashenko picks potatoes in campaign photo op
By Charlotte Cullen
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We are all too familiar with the common strategies used by campaigning politicians, but President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko being snapped harvesting potatoes could be a new one for the books.

The Belarusian strongman and his youngest son Mikalai were pictured collecting potatoes and melons in the grounds of his official residence on Sunday. According to the presidential press service, the family and a group of helpers collected 70 sacks of produce which will be sent to orphanages and nursing homes in the country.

The hard-working father images could be an attempt to win over voters in the lead-up to the country’s next presidential election, due to take place in October, but the significance of any PR strategy would be questionable as Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and is almost certain to gain a fifth term.

Famously dubbed “Europe’s last dictator” by the Bush administration in 2005, Lukashenko is no stranger to an unusual photo op. In July he was pictured with French actor Gerard Depardieu as the two passed some time together scything grass at the leader’s farm north of Minsk.

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