Friday, 25 April 2014

Anti-gov't demonstration held in Prague

8 April 2013

Prague, April 7 (CTK) - Some 500 people gathered at a demonstration against the government and the current state of society organised by the Holesov Appeal civic group at Prague's Wenceslas Square yesterday.

Organisers expected at least 1,000 people to come. A special train was sent from Ostrava, north Moravia, but fewer than 20 people came by it.

The rally called Twilight of the Godfathers was organised by similar protest groups, too.

The demonstrators changed "Resignation, resignation," some of them wearing the national flags and banners. At one of them, there was Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) in prison clothes and the text "They keep amassing debts owed by Czech citizens."

Independent senator Tomio Okamura, one of the unsuccessful presidential candidates, was also in the crowd.

"I am seeking support to my vision of amendment to the constitution towards direct election," said Okamura, adding that he would like to see a greater participation of civic society in the governance and that he was for the right to dismiss politicians from their posts.

If the government does not react to the rally and does not want to negotiate about its departure, the Holesov Appeal is ready to block the ministers' access to the Government Office next week, activist Slavek Popelka said.

Popelka asked the crowd to come to the government office on Monday morning.

He said the government had no legitimacy as it included representatives of the LIDEM party that was not elected to the Chamber of Deputies.

LIDEM is a splinter group from the Public Affairs (VV) that one was one of the three members of the coalition government arisen from the 2010 general election. However, the VV later left the government, while some of its dissidents formed LIDEM that stayed in the cabinet.

"With some courage, one can call the organisers dangerous lunatics," LIDEM chairwoman Karolina Peake told CTK.

"The protest is targeted not only against the government, but mainly against the principles of democratic society," Peake said.

The Holesov Appeal has staged a number of protests against the government across the country. Its representatives previously agreed on cooperation with the Association of Independent Trade Unions (ASO).

In March 2012, the group brought thousands of people to protest events in Prague and other towns, but participation in later demonstrations was smaller.

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