The dictator realizes that he has lost.
Political scientist Valery Karbalevich commented to Salidarnasts the verdict of ex-presidential contender Viktar Babaryka, who was sentenced to 14 years.
– The verdict to Viktar Babaryka was not unexpected. No one had any doubts that he would be accusatory. There were no particular hopes that the term would be shortened either. The prosecutor asked for 15 years, gave 14, they say, look, our court is independent and even does not always follow the lead of the prosecutor’s office.
The interlocutor recalled that all presidential campaigns in Belarus were accompanied by repressions against Lukashenka’s opponents.
– This is the fate of politicians claiming the highest power in Belarus. Presidential elections have always been accompanied by the “jailing” of presidential candidates. But, if before they were put in jail after the elections, then, during the campaign of 2020, they were put in jail before because the situation was much more threatening for Lukashenka, and it was necessary to neutralize them,” reckons Karbalevich.
He points out that the hallmark of the last elections was a much more serious threat for Lukashenka to lose. This largely explains his behavior throughout the year.
– The verdict cannot be appealed, and this is another confirmation that the threat is felt and understood. Even in winter, according to independent opinion polls, Babaryka was the most popular politician in Belarus. This is a real threat.
It is clear that, if he were free, his rating would not fall and would definitely be higher than Lukashenka’s rating. Some structures, flows of information, and sentiments would have been formed around Babaryka; he would have been at the center of the political life of the country and could have defined its agenda. From the point of view of Lukashenka, this cannot be allowed, the political scientist sums up.