Belarus leader seeks to empower son in succession move

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus’ authoritarian leader says he will change the law on presidential succession so that power will be transferred if he dies to the national security council where his son plays a prominent role. Many observers have suggested that President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994, aims to establish a political dynasty, although Lukashenko denies this. Lukashenko is the head of the national security council, but his eldest son Viktor also has a seat and is regarded as the council’s informal leader. Under current law, the prime minister takes presidential powers if the presidency becomes vacant, but Lukashenko said Saturday that the premier would be only the nominal leader and all decisions would be made by the 20-person security council.