Sunday, 20 April 2014

Week of protest against communist rule in Czech regions ends

21 January 2013

Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) - A week of protests staged in a number of Czech towns against the presence of the Communist Party (KSCM) in regional governments culminated in a demonstration in the capital city Saturday.

The protests were organised by regional civic groups that formed the Without Communists movement.

"Communists don't belong to the 21st century," organiser Petr Marek told a crowd of about 200 people who took part the protest.

The rallies were symbolically held at the time of the Palach Week, commemorating the 44th anniversary of student Jan Palach's self-immolation to protest against the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Some of protesters held portraits of the ill-famed Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader under whom the former Czechoslovakia was invaded by Soviet troops, to underline their opposition to a communist rule.

The organisers said they recognised the result of democratic elections but that the KSCM was supported by around 20 percent of the voters in the regions in which they scored the biggest success, which meant that 80 percent of the population was against a Communist rule.

Since the October 2012 regional elections, the opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) and Communists have been ruling in most of the 13 Czech regions.

The protest meeting also supported the presidential candidacy of Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) and rejected his opponent, former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ).

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