Updated at 11:56,07-12-2016

Poet Nyaklyayew Denies Plans to Run for President

Prominent poet Uladzimir Nyaklyayew has denied rumors of his plans to run for president in next year's elections.

Speaking at a launch ceremony for the Tell the Truth campaign in Minsk on February 25, the author revealed that he had been approached by "serious people" with an offer to run for president but rejected the proposal a few months ago.

Mr. Nyaklyayew said that he had been told that he would have stood a bigger chance of unseating Alyaksandr Lukashenka than Uladzimir Hancharyk and Alyaksandr Kazulin, opposition candidates whom he supported in the presidential elections in 2001 and 2006, respectively. "Maybe, the elections could have passed off in a different manner. But their results would have been the same," he stressed.

The poet noted that the people who had approached him would "look for and find other presidential contenders." However, he added, their efforts and resources will be wasted "and the results of the elections have already been determined, as there can be no other way in our country."

The Tell the Truth campaign, which is aimed at uncovering the "truth" about the country’s situation, may have some influence on the coming presidential elections but only as part of a broader political campaign, Mr. Nyaklyayew said.