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MfD: Opposition Dawn may not run in Czech general election

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Prague, March 8 (CTK) – The small opposition party Dawn-National Coalition may not even be running in the autumn general election, its chairman Miroslav Lidinsky and its lower house deputies’ group head Marek Cernoch told yesterday’s daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
“It is one of the alternatives, even though an extreme one,” Lidinsky said.
The Dawn leadership will meet on March 22 to start discussing the issue.
After internal disputes that resulted in a split, Dawn has lost half of its 14 members in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. The latest opinion polls show that its preferences are very low, approximately 1 percent.
Dawn’s former leader Tomio Okamura founded a new movement, Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD). The SPD may cross the 5-percent threshold to enter parliament, the opinion polls indicate.
The division in Dawn was also caused by the fact that a big part of the high state contribution that the movement received for its success in the 2013 elections “disappeared” in firms related to Okamura, the paper writes.
If Dawn wanted to run in the elections, it would have to take a loan, and repay it, which would be a problem in case of an election failure. Okamura took a loan of 18 million crowns in February to cover the costs of the SPD election campaign, MfD writes.
At present, Dawn has problems to avoid running into debts.
“At the end of last year, we had a deficit of about one million crowns, but we will get the state subsidy for the first quarter of the year and be able to pay the debts,” said Dawn MP Jiri Stetina, in charge of the party’s financing.
The number of refugees coming to the Czech Republic is very low and for the anti-immigrant groupings, including Dawn, it is apparently hard to survive, MfD writes.
Cernoch said Dawn made the following major mistakes in the past: it temporarily allied with the anti-immigrant activist Martin Konvicka and his Bloc against Islam movement, it established its own border guards, and it staged a rally calling for the departure from the European Union on the day of the Brexit referendum.
Not even Dawn members in fact want to leave the EU, MfD writes.
($1=25.547 crowns)

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