Monday, 15 October 2018

Politicians slamming Zeman over attending SPD congress

ČTK |
11 December 2017

Prague, Dec 9 (CTK) - Several Czech politicians criticised President Milos Zeman for having attended the national conference of the anti-European populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) on Saturday.

The SPD praised Zeman, but it did not express direct support to his candidacy in the January presidential election.

"Zeman is at a conference of [SPD leader Tomio] Okamura's extremists. He is deep in the worst moral dirt," former human rights minister Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD), Zeman's rival in the 2013 presidential contest, has tweeted.

Communist (KSCM) deputy chairman Jiri Dolejs tweeted that Zeman had reprimanded the SPD for its rejection of Czech participation in foreign mission and was, unlike the SPD, against the Czech Republic's leaving the EU at the conference.

"So why did he go there?" Dolejs asked.

MEP Jiri Pospisil, the newly elected leader of the conservative TOP 09, often criticised by Zeman, said Zeman used to be the statesman who had brought the Czech Republic to NATO and supported the EU.

"All that has remained from him is a politician full of malice, capitalising on the lowest human instincts, the fear, envy and hatred," Pospisil said.

"He seeks the support from voters of extremist parties," he added.

Pospisil said in a press release that by attending the SPD conference, Zeman had shown he was not a pro-European head of state as he claimed.

Presidential candidate Mirek Topolanek said in a video message sent to CTK that unlike Zeman, he would not have attended the SPD conference.

"I respect the election result, but I cannot like the party's behaviour towards journalists, homosexuals, Jews, the Roma and agreeing with threats to children," Topolanek said.

He added that he did care for any vote from Okamura, but for the votes of his electors to which the SPD "has offered quite a black-and-white solution because the people have the feeling that no one represents them and that politicians and the state are not interested in them in the least."

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