Lukashenko Says He ‘Sat a Bit Too Long’ in Presidential Chair

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko confessed that he might have overstayed his term of office, but he emphasized that he is the only one who can “protect Belarusians,” according to Rossiya-1 TV channel reporter Yevgeny Rozhkov, who took part in Lukahsenko’s interview for Russian reporters, TASS reports.

“Yes, perhaps, I’ve sat [in the presidential chair] for a bit too long maybe, I’m shown not only on TV, but on irons and kettles as well. But truthfully I’m the only one who can protect Belarusians right now,” Rozhkov quoted Lukashenko as saying Tuesday.

Alexander Lukashenko has served as president of Belarus since 1994. During the recent presidential elections on August 9, he won once again, with 80.10% of the ballots in his favor. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came in second, with 10.12% of the votes.

Immediately after the results were announced, mass protests sparked across Belarus, causing clashes with law enforcement during the first days.

The Belarusian opposition’s Coordination council urged the public to continue protesting, while the authorities have been demanding that the unauthorized rallies stop.