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LN: ČSSD election leader campaigning at National Theatre

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Prague, Sept 11 (CTK) – Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) election leader Lubomir Zaoralek visited the National Theatre (ND) in Prague and delivered a speech there within the election campaign on Thursday, causing outrage, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Monday.

Zaoralek came to the ND at the invitation of the local trade union organisation and delivered a speech in which he criticised the ND management for not knowing where it was heading.

Due to the visit, two rehearsals were discontinued, LN writes.

ND director Jan Burian said he had been taken by surprise, it adds.

Burian said Zaoralek had unrightfully disturbed the rehearsal and his visit had violated security rules.

“It seems to me that this was election campaigning including an unrightful violation of the rehearsals approved by no one,” Burian told the paper.

“For security reasons, the stage and the area around it must not be entered by anyone who is not employed here. The trade unionists know this pretty well,” he added.

Zaoralek informed neither Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) nor the ND management on his visit beforehand, LN writes.

Burian told LN that neither him nor anyone from the ND management had been invited to the meeting.

Zaoralek was accompanied by about 20 people, including Social Democrat deputy Frantisek Adamec who repeatedly called for Burian’s dismissal, Josef Herman, chief editor of Divadelni noviny (“Theatre Newspaper”), photographers and cameramen, LN writes.

The delegation arrived during the rehearsal of an opera. This is why the rehearsal on the stage was interrupted and then the group went to a rehearsal of the ND orchestra in one of the National Theatre buildings.

Zaoralek delivered a speech there. Based on the visit, a Social Democrat video clip was shot, which was then posted on social networks, LN writes.

“This is an absolutely unsuitable form of election campaign,” Daniel Herman told the paper.

Zaoralek has dismissed the criticism.

“I did not make any campaigning. When I entered a place and there was some rehearsing, I always apologised. My apologies cannot be considered any campaigning,” Zaoralek told the paper.

“Everyone was smiling and no one said that I am a nuisance,” he added.

He said in the clip he had met the trade unions of the theatre which has 1,300 employees.

“Is there anything bad in my accepting the invitation from the trade unions of the ND in which over 1,300 people are employed?” he asked.

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