President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko asked the opposition not to call him a cockroach. He spoke about this at a meeting with his supporters in Brest (video here). But more than for a cockroach, Lukashenko took offense at 3%. The opposition believes that this is the current rating of President Lukashenko. “This is you,“ Sasha 3% ”wrote on T-shirts. Do you even believe that the incumbent president has 3% ?! ”exclaimed the offended president.
For the first time in 26 years of his reign, Old Man Lukashenko condescended to extramural public debate with his opponents. The elite candidate, Valery Tsepkalo, a former diplomat and an employee of his own presidential administration, Lukashenko called "a boar unable to produce viable offspring." “Now he is holding meetings and is slipping to the point that he is discussing his opponents: what they said, how they reacted to him. This has never happened before. Lukashenko did not publicly demonstrate that Alexander Lukashenko, the tsar, should come down to some insects, and this only underscores his shrunken rating, that he has little control over the situation", - said opposition politician Anatoly Lebedko.
This presidential campaign in Belarus was not supposed to be special. The opposition there is also fragmented, as in Russia. She could not agree among herself on a single candidate. Dad's elections are again in his pocket. “It seemed that everything was seized, their people in the election commissions - suddenly new faces appeared,” said expert Alexander Klaskovsky. “And these are people who do not have a trail of defeats, but, on the contrary, say, Victor Babariko - this is a successful manager, Valery "It’s tenacious - a native of the establishment, or video blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky. These people were in the focus of public attention." The challenge for Lukashenko came from where he hadn’t been waiting for him, so the nerves began to turn in, and the president moved on to open threats and turned to the Central Asian version with restoring order "with the gun at the ready." Experts doubt that his associates will support the president.
“There is no political elite in Belarus; instead, there is a corrupt nomenclature that feeds on Lukashenko’s expense. As soon as he stops supplying them, they will run away. The siloviki are a real support of the regime, but they are also nervous because they remember how they treated the Golden Eagle in Ukraine, ”said Andrey Suzdaltsev during the MK roundtable. Presidential candidate Andrei Dmitriev (video here ) calls Lukashenko the main investor in the revolution. “Lukashenko’s promises are perceived as a program of slow rotting of the country... Lukashenko scares people with Maidan, and this is the first election when presidential candidates are arrested before the vote, and not after,” he said Dmitriev.
Political analyst Joerg Forbrig leads research in Central and Eastern Europe at the US Marshall Foundation in Germany. He believes that Alexander Lukashenko will be harder this time to manipulate elections to be re-elected for the next term. "Firstly, unresolved dispute with Russia over oil and gas supplies, as well as a political integration project. Secondly, the economic crisis, which will only intensify. Thirdly, independent candidates are very popular among the population, which was not the case before”.
Deputy Head of the Institute CIS countries Vladimir Zharikhin told "NI" that part of the Belarusian elite frightened Lukashenko's lack of responsiveness with respect to Russia. Lukashenko did not agree with Moscow on energy prices, he questioned the reality Union State. “People are frightened by a campaign of petty blackmail against Moscow. Thanks to this, such candidates as Victor Babariko and Valery Tsepkalo were able to rise. Plus, the society has accumulated fatigue from Lukashenko’s rule”.
There are no official data on the rating of Lukashenko and other candidates; Alexander Lukashenko has banned independent sociological services for a long time. Nevertheless, experts do not contradict the opposition’s data on the unpopularity of the Belarusian president. Belarus expert Andrei Suzdaltsev connects the protests in Belarus with the institutional crisis of the Lukashenko regime: “According to the latest data, Lukashenko's rating is about 3.8%, Babariko has 59%, Dmitriev has about 30%. Lukashenko believes that he can arrest the main competitors, and voters will vote for him, because there will be no other choice. On the one hand, Belarusians, including the most inveterate nationalists, were afraid that Minsk might lose subsidies from Russia, on the other, the coronavirus hit them. As a result, there was a feeling of a burning house”.
Nevertheless, the head of the International Solidarity Fund and an expert on Eastern policy Rafal Dzenchiolovsky advises not to rush to conclusions. “Today Belarus is beginning to comply with the classical definition of Russia, once expressed by Winston Churchill:“ Russia is a puzzle shrouded in mystery inside a riddle. ” We are actually only able to see the hills protruding from the foggy valley. Therefore, putting forward any judgment is fraught with a dangerous mistake, ”Dzenchiolovsky warned.
Only one thing is clear - it is impossible to win in the current system in the elections in Belarus, there will be only one winner - Lukashenko. Experts admit that Lukashenko will have to compromise with Moscow because of internal instability: “It may be that on the eve of the election Lukashenko will make a deal with the Kremlin and give what he has long been asked for - military bases, economic spheres of influence, in-depth political integration. And in exchange, the Kremlin will promise not to interfere in the elections, because Moscow has ample opportunities for this. IN Moscow made conclusions from the experience of other post-Soviet countries, where open support for candidates in a neighboring country led to the opposite result. In the meantime, it seems that the Kremlin has enough of its problems - from a referendum on amendments to the constitution to a downgrade of the president’s rating”.