Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Rally staged outside parliament against gov't backed by Communists

ČTK |
12 July 2018

Prague, July 11 (CTK) - A crowd of several hundred people demonstrated against a cabinet of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) to be backed by the Communists near the building of the Czech Chamber of Deputies where a vote of confidence was held on Wednesday.

Prime Minister and ANO chairman Andrej Babis (ANO) shortly went out of the Chamber of Deputies' seat to meet the demonstrators in evening hours. However, the protesters against his cabinet, shouting "shame," booed him off stage and he returned to the building in a few seconds.

Babis was surrounded by a group of uniformed police and security guards who protected him from possible items that the demonstrators could throw at him.

The activists said they were not only against the government cooperation with the Communist Party (KSCM), but also Babis and President Milos Zeman.

They were opposed to a government being established with the Communist support for the first time since the 1989 ousting of the Communist regime.

Babis's minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats needs the Communist support to win the confidence vote.

The protesters warned of the past of the Communist party from which the KSCM has not sufficiently distanced itself.

They also said that Babis was registered as an agent of the Communist secret service StB.

The rally started at around 13:00. Along with organisers, speeches were delivered by the chairmen of the deputy groups of TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents (STAN), Miroslav Kalousek and Jan Farsky, as well as Miroslava Nemcova, a deputy for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS).

There were also flags of the Pirates and Young Socialists.

The protesters had whistles, Czech flags and banners. They also installed photos of the people executed by the Communist regime on the square.

They were chanting "We Want No Commies" and the slogans asking Babis to resign and are calling on the deputies not to vote for confidence in the government.

The event called We Are Not Losing Hope was staged by the group AUVA.

Another demonstration against Babis's new government was staged in Ceske Budejovice, the largest town in south Bohemia, on Wednesday with some 200 people attending.

Two candidates for the Senate, local politicians and a political scientist gave speeches there. The protesters carried anti-Babis banners, watched a live broadcast from the Chamber of Deputies session dealing with confidence in Babis's cabinet and at the end, Common Sense, a documentary critical of Babis's business activities, will be screened on the square.

Rally organiser Tomas Kubousek told CT that the main reason for the protest was Babis's request for confidence in the government dependent on the Communists' support, and his criminal prosecution. Babis, along with other people, including his wife and adult children, is prosecuted on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud.

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