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Hundreds protest against Babis with taped mouths in Prague

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Prague, May 22 (CTK) – Several hundred people with taped mouths joined a silent protest against Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) in Old Town Square in the city centre on Tuesday, in reaction to Babis’s refusal to talk to them in public.

The protesters had banners saying Babis lied, crippled independent police, cooperated with extremist parties, lusted for power and allured to his collaboration with the former Communist secret police StB in the 1980s.

Babis’s cabinet, which is ruling without parliament support pending the appointment of a new government, has recently replaced the heads of several Czech security forces. Babis has been criminally prosecuted over a suspected EU subsidy fraud.

The protesters walked to the Government Office where they observed a minute of silence for all persecuted people.

The organising group Million Moments for Democracy said Babis was willing to meet them only behind closed doors, without the participation of journalists and the public.

Government spokeswoman Barbora Peterova told CTK that Babis has been in e-mail contact with one of the members of the group and this person did not accept any of planned meetings as far as she knew. The meeting with the group is being negotiated, she said.

Smaller groups of people protested against Babis in some regional centres – Ceske Budejovice, Liberec, Olomouc and Zlin.

Similar but stronger protests against Babis were held in March and April.

The groups plans another demonstration against Babis in Prague on June 5. Its aim is to make Babis resign from the post of prime minister. Its petition calling on Babis to give up the post has been signed by 244,000 people.

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