Prague, June 7 (CTK) – Marek Cernoch, who heads the Czech minor opposition Dawn movement’s group of deputies, is leaving Dawn as from today since he disapproves of the policy pursued by its chairman Miroslav Lidinsky, mainly his effort to merge Dawn with extremist parties, Cernoch has told journalists.

Cernoch said he wants to complete his deputy’s mandate and he will remain a member of the Dawn group in the Chamber of Deputies.

The general election is due on October 20-21.

Cernoch said he has discussed his future with several parties but is not switching to any for the time being.

He said he has been long categorically opposed to Lidinsky’s policy.

In addition, the Dawn board has been blocking the convocation of the party’s national congress for several months, he said.

“Under Lidinsky’s leadership, Dawn has been left by more than a half of its members…Four deputies have left it as well – Petr Adam, Karel Fiedler, Martin Lank and Jana Hnykova,” Cernoch said.

Hnykova announced her departure on Tuesday, also citing the Dawn’s inclination to extremist parties. She left both the Dawn and its deputies’ group.

“The last straw was the effort to merge the Dawn with parties such as the [far-right extra-parliamentary] National Democracy of Adam B. Bartos. I do not want to have anything in common with these people,” Cernoch said.

In January, Bartos was charged with fomenting hatred, defaming a nation and denying and approving of genocide. Among others, he is suspected of denying the existence of gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps.

Along with Cernoch, the Dawn deputies’ group has six members.

In the 2013 general election, Dawn won 14 seats in the 200-seat lower house under the leadership of populist Tomio Okamura, with whom Dawn MPs fell out in mid-2015 and replaced him with Lidinsky at the party’s head. Opinion polls show that Dawn is very unlikely to enter parliament now, while Okamura’s new project, Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), may succeed.