Prague, Feb 20 (CTK) – The Dawn-National Coalition, a Czech junior opposition party, will change its name to Dawn with Block Against Islam and the two groups will run together in the regional and Senate elections scheduled for this autumn, their leaders announced on Saturday.
“We will run together in the regional elections,” Bloc against Islam leader Martin Konvicka said.
“We want to be an alternative to the well-established political parties,” Dawn chairman Miroslav Lidinsky said.
Lidinsky named five priorities for the forthcoming elections: security and defence of the state, education and culture, solidarity with seniors and the disabled, principles of direct democracy and maximum freedom for business activities.
He said these five pillars would help Dawn develop into a centrist party that is liberal in economy and conservative in social and cultural issues.
Lidinsky said its election slogan is A Proud and Safe Country.
He said border protection and the re-establishment of the border police are the key points of the party’s programme.
Konvicka said it may seem that the programme does not concern Islam, but it of course reacts to the civilizational threat that the country has been facing.
Dawn’s lower house group chairman Marek Cernoch said anti-terrorism laws must be stricter and fighting for the Islamic State group must become a crime.
Cernoch recalled the New Year’s Eve events in Cologne, Germany, where groups of immigrants from the Middle East apparently attacked a number of local women in the crowd. Cernoch strongly condemned the incident. “Nobody will do such things to our women and children,” he said.
At the ideologic conference held on Saturday, Konvicka said he rejected violence. “However critical the situation and the urgency to resolutely change the political circumstances in the country, we want to do it in a democratic, legal way,” he said.
Success in the regional elections is therefore crucial, he added.
Dawn previously changed its name from the Dawn of Direct Democracy to Dawn-National Coalition after it split and its founder Tomio Okamura established a new group, Freedom and Direct Democracy, last summer. In the early elections in late 2013, Okamura’s Dawn won 14 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies. At the time of the elections, the populist Okamura was among the country’s most popular politicians, along with President Milos Zeman and billionaire and ANO leader Andrej Babis.
The present Dawn has eight seats in the lower house.
Bloc against Islam is a far-right group promoting Islamophobia and it is not represented in parliament. It has attracted many supporters since the migrant crisis broke out. It staged a number of rallies that opposed immigration and warned against Islam and Muslims last year.