Wednesday, 23 April 2014

European court upholds ban of extremist party

11 April 2013

Prague, April 10 (CTK) - The European Human Rights Court has stopped dealing with a complaint by the dissolved Czech Workers' Party (DS) and its former chairman Tomas Vandas, the Justice Ministry has said on its website, saying this means the party's dissolution can be considered definitive.

The extremist DS was dissolved by the Supreme Administrative Court in February 2010.

It was the first time that a court dissolved a political party over its political activities since the Czech Republic was established in January 1993.

Most of DS representatives as well as rank-and-file then formed the Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) and Vandas became its chairman.

The Justice Ministry said the Strasbourg court halted the proceedings on March 26.

"The court made the decision because the complainants did not react to the government's stand on the acceptability and substantiation of their complaint, not even after they were alerted by the European Court to the procedural consequences that such step can have," the Justice Ministry writes in a press release.

No remedial measure can be taken against the verdict that makes it impossible for the complainants to propose a renewal of the proceedings before the Czech Constitutional Court.

The government of Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS) sought the DS's outlawing, but the court dismissed the proposal. The next attempt made by the caretaker government of Jan Fischer was successful.

The government argued that the DS purposefully aroused tension in society, offended minorities, threatened democracy and shielded neo-Nazis.

The party filed a complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court and later the Constitutional Court, but it dismissed its complaint. Vandas then turned to the European Human Rights Court.

He said then the Strasbourg Court should comply with his complaint because the dissolution of any political party proves the weakness of the ruling regime and tramples on the plurality political system and the constitution-guaranteed freedoms.

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