Prague – Twenty years after the fall of communism, former President Václav Havel, the face of the Velvet Revolution, is becoming the election triumph of a parliamentary party.
The post-communist regime president decided to support the Greens in their European Parliament election campaign and thus put an end to the debates over which fraction of the Green Party he would support.
Over the last few days, the Democratic Green Party (DSZ), which splintered off from Martin Bursík’s Green Party, argued over who would receive Havel’s support.
The DSZ, headed by MP Olga Zubová who helped bring down the government, says on its website that Havel’s support would go to them.
Havel will be the guest at a Monday Green Party press conference, along with Karel Schwarzenberg, who also expressed support for the party. Another politician who could help the party attract voters is former presidential candidate, Jan Švejnar.
Havel growing Green but also favours ODS
Former PM Mirek Topolánek also said Havel was an ally, shortly after the fall of the government, which Havel said was a “stupid” thing to do.
Topolánek tried to make the most of this show of support and immediately released a press statement saying the “ODS has benefited greatly from opening up to other right-leaning people, which used to belong to just one group, which eventually split up into the followers of Klaus and followers of Havel. Havel had people around him, who were right leaning”.
This caused a minor uproar in the ODS. Klaus supporters were not thrilled about this embracing of Havel.
“I will not join any one party in my old age, but if I do change my mind, I would lean in the Green direction. But that does not mean, I repeat, that I will not publicly support something that I consider worth supporting,” Havel responded.
Without us there would be no Schwarzenberg or Švejnar
The Greens are not counting just on the support of Václav Havel. They also have the support of former Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, as well as other people, whose names the party is keeping secret for now.
“If it wasn’t for the Greens, Karel Schwarzenberg would not be in politics. Nor would Jan Švejnar, who awoke a great deal of hope among people,” said Bursík in an interview with Aktuálně.cz.
In an extensive interview with Aktuálně.cz, Schwarzenberg unequivocally stated his support for the Greens.
“I agree with the policies of the the Greens. In my lifetime, I have not found a party that could fully meet my expectations. Nevertheless, my profession as a forester, that is the fact, that I feel close to nature, makes Green issues important for me, and I feel the need to support them,” said Schwarzenberg.