50.1 % of Czechs want to ban the Communist Party, 40 % do not
The opinion of the Czech public on whether to abolish the Communist Party (KSČM) is not clear-cut. A February poll conducted online by the SANEP company shows that 50.1 % of respondents agreed the party should be abolished while 40 % were opposed to its abolition. The Czech Press Agency reports that the survey had a margin of error of 1.5 %.
Last week a special Czech Interior Ministry team began compiling background materials for an eventual ban of the KSČM. The Czech Press Agency reports that the same team prepared the successful lawsuit that banned the extremist Workers' Party (Dělnická strana - DS).
SANEP reports that people aged 30 and above would welcome the abolition of the KSČM. The survey shows that 55 % of respondents believe the KSČM has not transformed itself into a standard democratic left-wing party since the fall of the totalitarian regime, while 30 % of respondents believe it has.
The survey also shows that 47.7 % of respondents support Czech Interior Minister Radek John (Public Affairs - VV) in his plan to task his Security Policy Department with compiling all the documents needed to decide whether the state should file a lawsuit against the KSČM. Those opposed to his plan totaled 40.6 % of respondents.
Last week Czech Television reported that John had confirmed that his ministry has already sent out letters requesting analyses from various experts, although he warned the process would take a long time. John said the ministry commissioned the analyses at the request of Czech MPs after a recent parliamentary debate on a law about the anti-Communist resistance. Discussion of the law was accompanied by a tense atmosphere between MPs from the governing parties and those of the KSČM. Former Communist Party chair Miroslav Grebeníček said the law was the "political adoration of past terrorist acts."
Ministry staff are able to base their research on an administrative lawsuit, a draft of which was prepared last year by a temporary Czech Senate commission that evaluated the constitutionality of the KSČM. The lawsuit is designed to halt the party's activities and is an effort to force the KSČM to abandon communist ideology and methods and to change its name. "The Senate inferred that the KSČM violates the Constitution and wants an independent court to evaluate that suspicion," Czech Senator Štětina told Czech Television.
The communists are prepared to defend themselves. Communist MP Milan Bičík told Czech Television the party would make use of all legal measures available to it.
The SANEP survey was conducted online between 17 and 20 February 2011. A total of 6 812 people between the ages of 18 and 69 participated in the survey.
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