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Dzianis Tsikhanenka announces presidential bid

Dzianis Tsikhanenka / Euroradio file photo

Dzianis Tsikhanenka, an aide to MP Hanna Kanapackaja, announced on Monday that he is launching his presidential campaign under the hashtag # HeIsNotYourDad.

"If we implement everything that we have planned, and I am confident that's what will happen, I will be the president of our country for as long as one day and will issue only one presidential edict: on the abolishment of the President of the Republic of Belarus and the change to the parliamentary form of rule," the politician said.

He will not have to collect signatures from citizens who could put him forward as a presidential candidate. Tsikhanenka also plans to set up a committee to organize the Belarusian Social Liberal Party.

The politician used to be a member of the United Civil Party (UCP). When UCP activist Hanna Kanapackaja became a member of the House of Representatives, she hired Tsikhanenka as her aide. The two eventually announced the establishment of the Forward, Belarus! movement, but the UCP leadership did not endorse this initiative. Tsikhanenka reacted by withdrawing from the party and proceeding with the movement on his own.

Over the past several months, Tskhanenka has tried to build on the protest sentiment against the amendments that abolished deferrals from the army service.