A four-day meeting will begin today in the Czech Republic with the chief leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. The politician, who is being persecuted by Alexander Lukashenko’s government, will be in Prague at the invitation of Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (ODS). She aims to meet the rector of Charles University Tomáš Zima.
On Tuesday, Tsikhanouskaya will also meet with President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), and on Wednesday with Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek (ČSSD). On the same day, she will give a speech during a meeting of the upper house of parliament. Due to security risks, the entire program of Tsikhanouskaya’s visit to the Czech Republic has not been made public.
In Belarus politician is being persecuted under an article of the Criminal Code that addresses demands for the seizure of power. The reason for this is that the Belarusian opposition organized a coordinating council to negotiate the country’s peaceful transfer of power. Following an agreement with Belarus, Russia has also identified Mrs. Tsikhanouskaya as a wanted person.
During last August’s presidential elections, Tsikhanouskaya campaigned against Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. She gained 10.1% of the vote, according to official data. Many people think, however, that she deserved more votes than Lukashenko, the proclaimed winner. Some countries of the European Union do not recognize the election results.
Tsikhanouskaya fled the country to evade arrest shortly after the elections. She found asylum in Lithuania and toured around Poland and Germany, where she met the two Prime Ministers. She is working to hold new presidential elections in Belarus.