Lukshenko was born into a poor family risen by a single Mum . He speaks with a regional accent and has charisma . It’s easy to see why he appeals to common folks. He is more liked in Russia than Belarus in my opinion.

I don’t think Belarus is as authoritarian as former USSR or North Korea. Belarusians are free to travel. Belarusians obtain more Shchengen visas per capita than citizens of any country. Twice as many as Russians and Ukrainians per capita. We can say anything we wish about our government in public.  Calling Lukashenko stupid on TV can be regular.

I think the country d is labeled  dictatorship due to the fact that we  kept Soviet relics – monuments, names of the streets and squares. We are also a political ally of Russia. So, we are a target in information war. Also our government puts plenty of pressure on the opposition. Some of those in opposition are opportunists sponsoured by the West. In 2010 there was an attempt to overthrow the government during election. It was similar to Maidan in Kiev. The government jailed those responsible for breaking government buildings causing public unrest. Politicians in the west labeled those who were jailed as political prisoners. In the last 25 years there were probably around 15 political prisoners in Belarus as per the western sources. Most of them were pardoned by the president eventually. President has a constitutional right to do so.
We don’t have opposition media too. Although, we can read any newspaper in the world. We have opposition sattelite channel and radio station in eastern Poland broadcasting to Belarus, which is available to all citizens of Belarus. If putting pressure on opposition and opposition media having Soviet relics at the same is a form of  dictatorship…

I forgot . President has a lot of political power. I don’t think our president has more constitutional power than the president of Russia or USA.