Wednesday, 12 December 2018

KSČM head wonders why Czechs protest against Ondráček's election

ČTK |
5 March 2018

Prague, March 4 (CTK) - Czech Communist (KSCM) leader Vojtech Filip does not understand why protests are to be held against former police Zdenek Ondracek's (KSCM) election as head of the lower house commission supervising the security corps inspection (GIBS), he said on Sunday, adding that the critics are no democrats.

Under the communist regime, Ondracek was a member of the raid police intervening against opponents of the regime.

On Friday, he was narrowly and on the fifth try elected chairman of the Chamber of Deputies' commission for GIBS.

"I do not understand why civic demonstrations should be held," Filip said in a discussion on Prima TV, reacting to the organisers' information that protest meetings are planned in 11 towns across the Czech Republic on Monday evening.

Filip said Ondracek was elected to the post like any other deputy and he optimally meets the criteria required for the commission head. The critics "disrespect everything a civic society should include" and "show that they are no democrats," Filip said.

Unlike Filip, KSCM deputy chairman Jiri Dolejs said in a debate on Czech Television that he recognises people's right to demonstrate, though he disagrees with the reason of the planned protest.

Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) chairman Pavel Belobradek, who was Filip's partner in the debate, defended people's right to demonstrate. In doing so, they express their free will. "This is democracy," he said.

To defend Ondracek, Filip said that before 1989, every police officer had to join the raid police for some time.

Ondracek only fulfilled his duty [when intervening against anti-communist protesters], he did nothing beyond the orders addressed to him and should not be reproached for it, Filip said.

Belobradek said the Nazis, too, excused themselves saying they only acted based on orders and laws.

Ondracek has not shown any self-reflection of his steps within the communist regime, Belobradek said.

He pointed out that Ondracek was elected by votes of what is in fact a lower house coalition of ANO, the KSCM and the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

On Czech Television, the same aspect was emphasised by Mayors and Independents (STAN) chairman Petr Gazdik and Civic Democrat (ODS) deputy head Alexandra Udzenija.

Ondracek said after his election on Friday that he does not regret having worked with the communist police.

"I think I never violated this country's laws," he said.

Dolejs said on Sunday that Ondracek did not explicitly say that beating people is all right, but still he does not consider Ondracek's explanation sufficient.

The pre-1989 suppresion of protests in town squares amounted to the suppression of political freedoms and a convulsion of the declining former regime, Dolejs stated.

According to Gazdik, Ondracek's words show that the KSCM (Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia) remains unchanged and is the same as its infamous predecessor, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

Udzenija said she regrets it that the Czechs, including the ODS, lacked courage to outlaw the KSC after the "Velvet Revolution."

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