Monday, 21 April 2014

Cardinal Duka backs Klaus following shooting scare

3 October 2012

Prague, Oct 2 (CTK) - Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka expressed support to President Vaclav Klaus after the weekend airsoft gun attack on him during a ceremonial event in a letter Duka addressed to Klaus and posted on his website.

The shooter, a young left-leaning welder, said he wanted to point to the failure of the system, which makes ordinary people's life harder and harder. The incident took place during a bridge opening ceremony in a small town in a rather poor region near the borders with Poland and Germany.

Duka sent his letter of support to Klaus on September 29, one day after the attack, his website says.

Duka writes in his letter that the shooting incident confirms concerns about the future of "real democracy" in the Czech Republic.

"I believe that more and more principal rejections of democracy could be seen in the past few months," Duka says, adding that discussion is the basis of democracy.

Discussion is not possible among those who offend, hate and envy one another, he writes.

Duka also writes that he is not a supporter of direct elections because the principle of indirect democracy has been applied in the Czech Republic.

The first Czech direct presidential election is to produce Klaus's successor in January.

A young man shot plastic pellets from a close distance at Klaus in Chrastava, north Bohemia, on Friday. Then he left the site of the incident without Klaus's bodyguards intervening and he even gave an interview before his arrest.

Klaus told Monday's issue of Mlada fronta Dnes(MfD) that the attack shows the extremely bad situation in Czech society. He said it was the first assassination attempt at a president in the history of the modern Czech state.

Klaus rejected the view that the attack was a kind of social protest. He said those virtually prepared the situation should resign, referring to "hate-mongers in the media."

Klaus's interpretation of the incident triggered a number of media comments, often critical ones.

Presidential candidate Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) said in reaction to Klaus's statement about hate-mongers that the Presidential Office has waged an endless list of attacks against both individuals and groups since 2003 when Klaus became president.

However, Daniel Kaiser writes in Lidove noviny (LN) yesterday that media attacks against President Klaus are much worse than those to which his predecessor Vaclav Havel was exposed.

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