All candidates for the "Mayors and Independents" party in Czech town are quitting to run as their own group after mayor is told not to run for espousing racist violence
The entire candidate list of the "Mayors and Independents" (STAN) movement in Poděbrady is resigning together after criticism of remarks made by Jaroslav Červinka, the lead candidate and current mayor, that expressed sympathy for the idea of killing Romani people. The candidates will retain their rankings and run for the upcoming local elections under a different name and are currently drumming up the signatures necessary to registering their candidacies anew, according to the newspaper Mladá fronta DNES (MfD).
"The entire candidate list is withdrawing, that's how it is," Červinka told the paper, who resigned after being called upon to do so by the national chair of STAN, Vít Rakušan, who is also First Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and an MP. The mayor also decided to resign as a member of STAN.
MfD reports that all of the other candidates in Poděbrady running for STAN have decided to end their candidacies along with him. They will all run for election together under a different name.
"Yes, we will all run for election as the Independent Candidates of Poděbrady [Nezávislí kandidáti Poděbrad], currently we are looking for the 1,003 signatures necessary to register by the deadline," Červinka said. He is explaining his approach by saying he has public support.
The mayor claims to have made the much-criticized remark about shooting Romani people in an atmosphere of tension when, after a five-hour local assembly meeting, he wanted to express support for citizens who had come to complain about problems they are allegedly experiencing with a family of Romani origin living in a municipally-owned apartment on Ostrovní Street. Červinka was called upon by the Nymburk district cell of STAN not to run for re-election after making the remarks.
Rakušan said over the weekend that if Červinka did not withdraw his candidacy, he would remove him from the list. The supervisory board of the movement also filed a motion to suspend his membership in STAN.
Speaking during a June meeting of the municipal assembly, the mayor had told the story of once being reprimanded by the district authority. He said he was reprimanded for remarks he made after a traffic accident in 2001 that he alleged was caused by dogs that were allegedly owned by a citizen of Romani origin.
"... I then said my memorable sentence that it would be better to shoot them. The cop told me that they should not be shot, that the dogs could not help themselves, and I said I didn't mean it was the dogs who should be shot," the mayor told the local assembly.
Červinka went on to say that back in the day when police asked him to explain himself, he denied having an inclination toward racism or wanting to shoot Romani people. He apologized for the remarks subsequently to the media.
The mayor has since said that his remark about Romani people was stupid 20 years ago and is still stupid today. He claims that his emotions got the better of him, as did fatigue, and that he did not mean what he said to sound like it did.
STAN has recently had to grapple with many problems among its members and will hold an extraordinary general assembly on Saturday in Hradec Králové. Rakušan will defend the job he has been doing as chair on that occasion.
The movement, which is part of the national coalition Government, initially convened the general assembly because of the accusations against Petr Hlubuček, a member of STAN who is a local politician in Prague, in association with the financial management of the municipal transit company there - a case referred to under the police code name for it, "Dozimetr". Moreover, the leadership elected by last summer's general assembly has largely fallen apart.
Former Czech Education Minister Petr Gazdík of STAN has resigned not just his cabinet post, but also as vice-chair of STAN over his contacts with another person accused in the Dozimetr scandal, businessman Michal Redl. In March, MEP Stanislav Polčák of STAN resigned that office, while another vice-chair of the movement, Věslav Michalik, passed away suddenly in June.
Of the four regular vice-chairs of the movement, therefore, the only one remaining is Czech MP Věra Kovářová (STAN), who is a vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies. The first vice-chair of STAN, Jan Farský, has been on a scholarship in the USA for several months.
- Czech party calls on mayor to withdraw from local election over racist approval of violence against Romani people
- Chair of the Czech Pirates says mayor who made racist remarks should be removed from the candidate list "like garbage"
- Chair of Czech party says he expects local cell to call on mayor to withdraw from election in response to open letter protesting the mayor's racism
- Czech NGO consortium RomanoNet calls on leadership of "Mayors and Independents" party to remove mayor from their candidate list and is filing a crime report against him
- Jarmila Balážová: Czech party distancing itself from mayor's racist remarks without removing him as a candidate is an empty gesture
- Leadership of "Mayors and Independents" party distances itself from mayor's racism but he remains their candidate, Czech Govt Human Rights Commissioner condemns his remarks
- In runup to autumn elections, Czech mayor recounts to local assembly the time he said Romani people should be shot
- Czech Police investigating local fake election campaign fliers insulting Romani people
- Czech mayor's remarks about shooting Romani people are a felony, but prosecutor has conditionally suspended prosecution because the perpetrator confessed and donated money
- UN Committee: Racial discrimination against Romani people persists unabated in Slovakia
- Russia accuses the Czech Republic of disseminating neo-Nazism, racism and xenophobia - no word on whether there is a plan to "de-Nazify" the country as they claim to do in Ukraine
- More than 170 Romani men and women running in Czech local elections, one Romani candidate is running for Senate
- Chair of Roma Luma party compiles list of Romani people whom he calls "collaborators and traitors", his fellow non-Roma candidate defends ultranationalists
- Czech mayor expelled from STAN party for talking about shooting Romani people put together an independent list for the elections, Christian Democrats have joined it
- Romanian court hands down a scandalous decision: Roma woman who was beaten up by a minibus driver has to pay a fine
- German MEP of Romani origin Romeo Franz: The situation for Roma in Ukraine is shocking, I could not believe Roma live in such conditions in Europe
- CNN: Czech Republic has discriminated against Romani refugees from Ukraine, updated data refute the myth that they all hold dual citizenship
- European Romani activists say Roma must get involved in political life as candidates and voters to participate in crucial decisions about public finances
- Czech research finds one-third of Romani refugees from Ukraine have experienced discrimination here, most children are not in education, dual citizenship has not been "abused" by them