Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Pirates want Okamura to leave parliament leadership

ČTK |
13 February 2018

Prague, Feb 12 (CTK) - The Czech Pirates will vote in support of the dismissal of Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura from the post of deputy chairman of the lower house of Czech parliament due to his statements about a concentration camp for the Roma, they said on Monday.

"Tomio Okamura challenged the severe conditions and deaths in the Lety camp by his statements. If he knows what horrors occurred in Lety and he makes the statements to test how far he can go, it seems to be even more serious than not knowing the facts," Pirate deputy chairwoman Olga Richterova said.

Okamura's dismissal was proposed by the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) last week. The small TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents (STAN) supported the proposal as well as some representatives of the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Social Democrats (CSSD). However, even if all the above parties joined forces, they would not be strong enough to push the proposal through the lower house.

The position of the ANO movement, which has the largest group in the lower house, will be crucial. ANO group's head Jaroslav Faltynek said he would not vote for Okamura's dismissal from the post. ANO leader Andrej Babis, current prime minister, also said last week he can see no reason for removing Okamura from the parliament's leadership.

The Communists (KSCM) do not support the KDU-CSL proposal either. ANO, the KSCM and the right-wing populist SPD occupy 115 seats in the 200-seat lower house.

In January, Okamura said the wartime camp in Lety was not fenced and people could freely move in it. Later he admitted that there had been a fence in Lety and apologised for having asserted the opposite. He insisted nevertheless, that the camp mostly remained unguarded and people could move freely around.

The Prague Jewish Community and the Museum of Roma Culture consider Okamura's statements Holocaust denial.

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