Monday, 25 June 2018

Petition against Communist in senior parliamentary post launched

ČTK |
6 March 2018

Prague, March 5 (CTK) - A petition was started for the election of a new chairman of the lower house commission for the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS), instead of Czech Communist (KSCM) deputy Zdenek Ondracek, in Prague on Monday.

Ondracek raised controversies as a former member of the communist riot police intervening against anti-communist demonstrations in 1989. He failed to be elected chairman of the GIBS commission last year, but eventually succeeded in winning the post last week.

He was elected by 79 votes, while 78 were needed in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies.

Street protests against Ondracek's election took place in a dozen of Czech towns this evening.

In the lower part of the Wenceslas Square in Prague, organisers prepared about 40 petitions stalls,

The rally in Prague was attended by thousands of protesters. At 19:00, the event culminated by the demonstrators symbolically raising truncheons created by the petition sheets and other papers over their heads.

The demonstrators waved banners targeting Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Some banners said "We Do Not Want Any StB Agents in the Government," alluding to Babis's registration as an agent of the Communist StB secret police, which he denies.

The protesters also chanted "No Commies," "We Are Fed Up With This" and "Shame on the Government," waving Czech and EU flags.

Organisers will deliver the petition sheets to the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday.

Last week, Ondracek said he does not regret that he was a police officer under the Communist regime and he would not change any of the decisions he made as a policeman.

"His election is a frightening continuation of the trend within which extremist views are legitimised as a new social norm," activist Vojtech Otevrel said.

"Previously we were not active, we are not connected with any party, but the Friday election seemed to us so much outrageous that as citizens we decided to put it clearly and understandably that we are concerned about the development of the political situation in the Czech Republic in the past weeks and months," Otevrel said.

Ondracek was also criticised by the Confederation of Political Prisoners. "We consider this attitude of the Chamber of Deputies members who decided on this scandalous and dangerous for the protection of free life in our society," its officials said.

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