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Some 45,000 people join students’ appeal for democracy defence

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Prague, March 28 (CTK) – More than 45,000 people have joined the Czech students’ appeal in defence of democracy and constitutional values, its main organiser Lubos Louzensky has told the Senate petition committee.

He presented the document to senators on Tuesday. They would like to debate the students’ demands with constitutional experts in about two weeks.

Experts should make it clear how long a government formation can last after elections, what decision a government can make after its resignation and how long it may be kept in power.

This is the case of the current ANO minority government of Andrej Babis that resigned after it lost a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies in January, but it continues ruling pending the establishment of Babis’s new cabinet with which President Milos Zeman entrusted him as the election winner again.

The appeal signatories demand that the president fulfil his constitutional duties, do not appoint a criminally prosecuted person as prime minister and that a government that resigned do not take any fundamental and personnel steps.

They hint at ANO chairman and billionaire businessman Babis being prosecuted on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud.

Senators across the political spectrum welcomed students’ interest in democracy on Tuesday.

However, senators for ANO and the Communists (KSCM) along with Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) senator Jiri Cunek raised objections to the demand for the appointment of a prime minister.

“We can hardly demand that a criminally prosecuted person be excluded from the public life,” said Cunek, who himself faced a bribery charges in the post of a local mayor.

Louzensky, from the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU), stressed the necessity of political representatives’ higher moral responsibility.

In reaction to the appeal, which was a part of the students’ token strike in mid-March, Zeman admitted the students’ right to protest against what they disliked in society. However, he criticised the participation of children in the protest as their abuse.

Louzensky pointed out that some schools had taken steps against the striking students though the Education Ministry had recognised their right to strike.

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