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Týden: Extremist Sládek seeks political comeback

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Prague, Dec 21 (CTK) – Miroslav Sladek, whose far-right Republican party (SPR-RSC) was in Czech parliament in the 1990s, recently appeared at a rally among nationalist supporters as he considers the migrant crisis a good opportunity for his political comeback, weekly Tyden writes in its latest issue.
A few months ago, Sladek created a profile on Facebook, he presented his political programme on it and he wrote a letter to media. However, his profile has only about 4000 fans, while, for example, the far-right movement We Don’t Want Islam in the Czech Republic has 136,000 fans on Facebook. The programme in fact is a copy of the old SPR-RSC programme, to which he asked fans to send proposed updates, Tyden writes.
The first major public event that Sladek joined was a Prague rally in support of President Milos Zeman on November 17. This is rather paradoxical as Sladek and Zeman have strongly disliked one another since the early 1990s, Tyden writes.
Sladek wanted to talk to populist MP Tomio Okamura, but did not succeed. “I repeatedly tried to contact lawmaker Okamura in order to meet and launch a serious debate on cooperation of patriotic parties,” Sladek had complained on Facebook, but he started mocking Okamura after his attempts failed.
MP Marek Cernoch, head of the Dawn-National Coalition party, and Martin Konvicka, leader of the Bloc Against Islam movement, were not interested in cooperation with Sladek either, the weekly writes.
Finally, Sladek met Adam B. Bartos, head of the marginal National Democracy infamous for his list of Czech Jews. Bartos recently organised Sladek’s lecture.
Bartos said Sladek had no group of supporters around him at present.
“But he will probably try to activate former members of his party that had 30-40,000 people and several hundred thousand voters in its best times (in the 1990s). This is interesting for National Democracy, too. I can imagine that we can join forces, which is what we have been trying to do on the patriotic scene already now,” Bartos said.
Unfortunately, Bartos has as little support among Czechs as Sladek nowadays, Tyden writes.
Sladek’s rhetoric has remained more or less unchanged. The “icon of Czech racism” has only replaced “gypsies” with refugees. He claims that governments, the European Union, media and other elites are to blame for the migrant crisis.
“Locusts are moving across the land, leaving a scene of devastation after them. When there is nothing more to eat, they move on,” Sladek says about the migrants.
“It is like in any other herd or flock. If a man has one animal, it is his friend. If he has three animals, they will choose their leader and refuse to be loyal,” Tyden quotes Sladek as saying.
Sladek ran for Czech president in 1992 and 1998 and he was a member of parliament in 1992-98. After his SPR-RSC party was declared bankrupt in 2001, he formed the Republicans of Miroslav Sladek, which was not successful in elections, In 2008, Sladek renewed the SPR-RSC, but a court dissolved it in 2013 because the party did not submit the obligatory annual financial reports.

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