Commentary: Actual risk now exists that deniers of the Holocaust of the Roma could join the Czech Government
The "Stork's Nest" affair has returned to the Czech political scene. While it hadn't exactly gone away, it had been on ice for a while now.
The controversy has been newly revived by the reporting of Jiří Kubík and Sabina Slonková, journalists with the Seznam Zprávy news server. This has opened a Pandora's box, as it means the entire affair could be drawing to a close, and the ultimate outcome could be a cabinet where the xenophobic populists from the "Freedom and Democracy Party" of Tomio Okamura are sitting alongside Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, thanks to the support of Czech President Miloš Zeman.
Yesterday evening's bizarre press conference, during which representatives of the opposition parties in the so-called democratic bloc stood side-by-side with Okamura, who represents right-wing extremists (forgive me, I know we're not supposed to use that term) in the basically populist-xenophobic SPD was a demonstration of political naivete and unpreparedness. The only person there who had thought through his next move, apparently, was Okamura.
The SPD chair did not say a word during that press conference. Elsewhere that same evening, though, on the Barrandov cable television channel he calls home, Okamura clearly said: "We want there to be a vote of no confidence, but for an absolutely different reason. We want to replace the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), get into the Government, and advocate for our program."
Immediately this morning Okamura met directly at the Office of the Government with the PM. So did the boss of the Communists, Vojtěch Filip.
"I suspected there would be room to advocate for the SPD program. Babiš told me to prepare a legislative package and that we could meet about it next week," Okamura said at today's press conference.
Have the Civic Democrats (ODS), the Pirates, and the other small democratic parties actually thought through their next steps? What happens if the ČSSD gives the PM an ultimatum to resign and threatens to leave the Government unless he does?
ODS chair Petr Fiala has said he does not want early elections. Does that mean that if the Government falls, a technocratic cabinet in the hands of Zeman will rule, since the President is so frighteningly close to Okamura's SPD?
Is the PM currently negotiating a new coalition in which the ČSSD is replaced by the SPD and the Communists will get to walk back into the Office of the Government through the front door? The situation is not easy - if the Government falls now, we are actually risking the formation of a Government including people who openly deny the Holocaust of the Roma and make no secret of their racist opinions.
- Hundreds commemorate Romani victims of WWII-era camp, criticize Czech politicians for Holocaust denial
- Czech students walk out of school to defend democracy, protest denial of Romani Holocaust
- Czech MPs refuse to approve program of extraordinary session to remove vice-chair accused of denying the Romani Holocaust
- Czech Republic: Mayor of Brno joins march against denial of the Holocaust of the Roma
- Former Czech Human Rights Minister says the entire country should campaign against denial of Romani genocide
- European Grassroots Antiracist Movement calls Czech MP's remarks about Romani genocide site classic Holocaust denial
- Czech citizens file crime report over MP's remarks denying the suffering of Romani genocide victims
- Czech MP Stanislav Huml shares Holocaust denial video online
- Parliamentarians of Europe get involved to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to fight against genocide denial
- Czech Supreme Court upholds Stwora's sentence for Holocaust denial
- Czech Police charge activist Jan Šinágl with genocide denial
- Man convicted of Holocaust denial in the Czech Republic for web content on US server
- Czech lower house to change leadership, the president and one vice-president will be women, ultranationalist welfare chauvinist is out
- Czech court hands down seven suspended sentences against members of neo-Nazi group after trial that lasted 11 years
- Czech Supreme Court upholds sentence for hate posted about non-white first-graders: Not a joke, but the promotion of Nazism
- Czech Police prosecuting one of the men who assaulted Romani people in Sokolov this summer, Internal Affairs says officers' procedure was correct
- Czech MP Okamura (SPD) to lose lower house vice-chair post because of his hatemongering, according to Civic Democratic Party member
- Czech MP for governing ANO movement: Support for the nonprofit sector is important to the integration of the Roma
- Czech Police charge two men over video in which one threatens to stab politician
- Jaroslav Miko: Romani voters must cast their ballots for a democratic coalition, otherwise anti-Romani extremists may get into government
- Romani associations distance themselves from community member who apparently expressed desire to attack Czech politician
- Czech moderator cuts short interview with party chair who refuses to distance herself from anti-Jewish texts
- Czech court sentences social media user to two years in prison, suspended for two years, for promoting terrorism
- Germany's Supreme Court rejects appeal filed by racially-motivated murderer of 10 people