MEPs to host Belarusian opposition leader

The leader of the opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, will be this Monday with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European parliament.

Protests in Belarus after Lukashenko's election for the sixth consecutive term | EPA / Tatyana Zenkovich / Lusa

MEPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee will discuss events in Belarus with opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya this Monday, 21 September. Foreign Affairs Committee members will welcome Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and other members of the Belarusian democratic opposition, Volha Kavalkova and Pavel Latushka, for a debate on the latest political developments and the popular uprising in Belarus.

Tsikhanouskaya, who will be present in person, should address the committee and then exchange views with Members. The Belarusian leader will also have a bilateral meeting with the President of the European Parliament, the Italian David Sassoli.

On the same day, MEPs from the Committee on Foreign Affairs will vote on new recommendations on how the Union should reevaluate its relations with Belarus, in particular with regard to the latest developments. The results of the vote will be announced on Tuesday, September 22.

Belarus is in the midst of a political crisis after allegations of electoral fraud in the August 9 presidential election, which authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have won by a vast majority, triggering massive popular protests and general strikes.

Since then, Belarusian authorities have been cracking down on protesters calling for Lukashenko's resignation, with many reports and documented cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees and demonstrators.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Belarus on 17 September, in which MEPs called for new elections and new sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko and his regime, stressing that Tsikhanouskaya, who was the main democratic candidate in the elections , is considered by many Belarusians to be the true winner of the vote and the true elected president of the country.

Monday's meeting will be organized jointly with the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Delegation for Relations with Belarus.

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