Czech Republic: Romani political candidates withdraw before local elections
The daily Mostecký deník reported today that the "Mosters for Most" (Mostečané Mostu) political group at the Romani-occupied Chanov housing estate in the town of Most, which was running under the rubric of Jana Volfová's "Association of the Czech Sovereignty political party and independent candidates", has collapsed. The daily reports that of its original 45 candidates, only four are left.
Lead candidate Petr Bažo is reportedly no longer on the candidate list. The daily's information has been confirmed by the Most town hall, which is the candidate registration authority for the elections.
"At this moment I can neither confirm nor deny such information because I have not yet received any such news," Volfová told news server Romea.cz. "The only thing I can say is what I have said from the beginning - whenever citizens have come to us who wanted to run on our list, we provided them the opportunity if we didn't have anyone else."
News server Romea.cz has not yet managed to get a statement from Bažo. Mostecký deník reports that information is spreading throughout Most that the candidate project in Chanov was an enormous fraud involving bribes, disputes between Romani clans, and pressure from unfriendly political elites.
Two unnamed sources were said to have confirmed allegations of unfair dealings to the paper. Proof, however, is lacking.
The party is said to have been dissolved by a Labor Office audit, or merely by the fear that the authorities would verify that half of the candidates on the list actually have business licenses while simultaneously drawing welfare as unemployed, which means they could lose their benefits. The Labor Office announced that while it had received suggestions that such an audit of the candidates should be performed, it had not undertaken one.
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