Czech center-right party distances itself from collaborating with extremists in local government
A coalition agreement was signed on Monday, 22 October in the town of Duchcov (Teplice district) by representatives of the locally victorious Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) with the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), the extremist Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) and the "We Live in Duchcov" (Žijeme Duchcovem) group, which is comprised of independent candidates and the center-right TOP 09 party. Jindřich Svoboda, chair of the DSSS cell in Duchcov, will now begin his second term as a local councilor there.
"I'm glad we can continue the previous arrangements," Svoboda told the Czech News Agency, praising his extremist party's previous collaboration with the ČSSD. According to the regional chair of the ČSSD, Miroslav Andrt, there is no reason exclude the Duchcov cell from the party because of its collaboration with the extremist DSSS.
"The local organization, led by Mayor Šimbera and through collaboration with the DSSS, has managed to calm the situation in Duchcov. Mayor Šimbera has our full support from the standpoint of advocating for social democratic values at the local level," Andrt said.
The local elections this month were won in Duchcov by the ČSSD despite (or even because of?) the local Social Democratic cell having excluded from the party four years ago, exactly over its collaboration with the DSSS, which is a right-wing extremist party. Former ČSSD chair Bohuslav Sobotka previously said the cell must be excluded because its approach contravened the Social Democratic program and the principles it advocates.
Sobotka strictly refused the ČSSD creating coalitions with parties of a Fascist or racist character at any level of government. The 2014 decision to close the Duchcov cell was supported at the time by the vast majority of ČSSD central committee.
While none of the members of the central committee opposed the move to close the Duchcov cell, some members did abstain from voting on the issue. Sobotka said at the time that the ČSSD had sent a clear signal to the public that it was impossible to collaborate with parties like the DSSS at any level.
The ČSSD leadership at the level of the Ústecký Region objected and refused to exclude any members for collaborating with the DSSS. The ČSSD cell in Duchcov was quietly reopened in May 2018.
After the 2014 local elections, the local ČSSD cell in Duchcov had concluded a coalition agreement with the DSSS and the KSČM. After this year's local elections, the DSSS has lost two of its local assembly seats there.
Svoboda is the only DSSS member to have been elected this time around. The communists have also been replaced by the "We Live in Duchcov" group of independent candidates and TOP 09 party members.
TOP 09 has categorically distanced itself from the Duchcov coalition agreement. The regional chair of TOP 09, Michal Kučera, and the chair of the TOP 09 organization in Teplice, Petr Měsíc, have issued a press release stating that TOP 09 does not want to be associated with extremist parties like either the DSSS or the KSČM under any circumstances.
The chair of the DSSS, Tomáš Vandas, ran in the local elections this year for a party calling itself "Clean Ústí" (Čisté Ústí). He captured attention by, among other things, being featured on billboards reading "Don't pay the parasites" ("Neplatit parazitům").
The Czech Police have also been investigating the alleged identity theft involved with some of the names featured on the "Clean Ústí" candidate list. Many people from Ústí nad Labem claim their names were put on the list without their knowledge.
Vandas denied misusing any personal information and said he considered the entire scandal to be a campaign aimed at weakening him politically. In August his adherents organized a demonstration in the town of Dubí in response to a brawl at a swimming facility resulting from a scuffle between two women.
The Czech Police arrested several people during that demonstration on suspicion of showing sympathy for a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. DSSS followers also assaulted the photographer Vít Hassan and shouted racist insults at him during the assembly.
- Czech extremist party's campaign rally in Prague legally blocked by counter-event
- Tomáš Ščuka: We may disagree with him, but Romani candidate for extremist party is entitled to his opinions
- Czech Police charge right-wing extremists who assaulted citizens of India
- Local Prague candidate seems to have given Nazi salute at demonstration, extremist party she is running for disavows her
- Czech Police refuse immediate comment about extremist stickers on bus used to transport 280 arrested environmental activists
- Czech PM, in speech about EU, says migration problems have caused a rise in extremist politics
- Czech Govt has yet to release report stating that the SPD party poses more of a threat than extremists do
- Czech President pushing Czech PM into Government with right-wing extremists
- Czech experts point to association between indebtedness and extremist voting patterns
- Julius Zajac: Ascendancy of extremists and liars may augur a new kind of totalitarianism in the Czech Republic
- Czech PM, extremists praise Czech President's Christmas speech, presidential candidates criticize it
- Czech Republic commemorates Velvet Revolution, Prague Police arrest two right-wing extremists
- Czech military intelligence: Extremists' Islamophobic declarations legitimize the ideology of radical Islamists
- Czech extremists abuse LGBT pride march in town of Plzeň but fail to block it
- Commentary: Czech politician takes photo with extremists who have records of racist violence
- Czech Police intervene as extremists, neo-Nazis and religious believers protest Prague Pride parade
- Czech ultra-right extremist on trial for approving of genocide, inciting hatred against Jews and refugees
- Czech Communists call on their people in Duchcov to end governing coalition with ultra-right
- Czech extremist praises ombudsman for objecting to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, deputy ombudswoman criticizes those objections
- Czech disinformation scene sharing pro-Kremlin lies and propaganda, including from opposition and extremist politicians
- Controversial Romani figure appears with Czech extremists opposing measures to control the pandemic
- Czech Interior Minister, SocDem chair: The position of Roma will improve by combating the collections mafia and traffickers in poverty
- Czech Pirates sharply criticize bill to toughen criteria for aid to those in material distress
- Czech extremists move from inciting anti-Romani hatred to railing against "COVID terror" ahead of fall elections
- Renata Berkyová: "Ferigate" has revealed how Czech society approaches sexual harassment
- Commentary: Czech Social Democrats sink to the level of ultra-nationalists with proposal to cut funding to NGOs working with minorities
- Czech Senate candidates use rhetoric about "inadaptables" and xenophobic tropes in second round battle
- Assistant to Czech MP fined for calling for migrants to be shot, he may appeal
- Czech chair of ultra-right party now leads the "Clean Region" movement in Ústecký Region
- Chair of Czech right-wing extremist party exultant over appointment of new ombudsman