MPs back Belarusian opposition in Minsk ahead of elections

Prague/Minsk, Nov 22 (CTK) - David Vodrazka and Jan Hamacek, the head and deputy head of the Czech lower house foreign committee, respectively, have supported Belarusian opposition in Minsk ahead of the presidential polls though the lower house's organisational committee did not approve their trip for austerity reasons.

Their Minsk stay last week was financed by the Belarusian opposition.

"Although the trip was far from cost-intensive, it was unnecessarily turned down. As if the lower house's leadership made it clear that our country does not care about human rights in Belarus. This is definitely not true," Vodrazka told CTK.

The Czech government "of budget responsibility," established in July, has launched a series of austerity measures in order to keep the budget deficit from crossing the planned limit.

Vodrazka (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS) and Hamacek (senior opposition Social Democrats, CSSD) met representatives of Belarusian opposition parties and parliament deputies.

"The local opposition faces repressions and the country is very isolated. Every visit and every display of support they receive is beneficial," Vodrazka said.

Belarus has been under a tough control of President Alexander Lukashenko for more than 15 years. Ten politicians will run for the post of president on December 19.

The election favourite is Lukashenko, who will seek his fourth mandate.

The Czech Republic has been a long-standing critic of the Lukashenko regime that the West accuses of violating human rights. In this connection, there were diplomatic rifts between Prague and Minsk in the past, with the two countries expelling each other's diplomats.

Of top Czech political leaders, the only one to visit Belarus was Milos Zeman, former prime minister who headed a mission of the Social International's Committee on Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in 2002.


Share |

Partners: Social Network