Czech Civic Democrats may exclude member who called Meghan Markle a "gypsy"
News server Aktuálně.cz reports that the chair of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) in the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, has called on René Franěk, a member of the party council for the Nymburk area who is also director of the zoo in the Central Bohemian town of Chleby, to apologize for a recent post he made on social networks about Saturday's Royal Wedding of Britain's Prince Harry to the American actress Meghan Markle. Franěk posted that "the heir to the throne is marrying a gypsy woman", a remark that Fiala says he considers distasteful, insulting and racist.
If the zoo director does not apologize, Fiala says he cannot remain an ODS party member. The Czech News Agency is seeking comment from Franěk.
"The racist insults made by Mr Franěk on social networks are unacceptable. His opinions are not in accordance with our values. If he does not apologize for his distasteful remarks he cannot continue to be a member of the ODS," Fiala said.
Franěk made his remarks on Facebook in response to the question of why Czech President Zeman was not invited to the royal wedding. "If the heir to the throne is marrying a gypsy woman, what would [Zeman] be doing there in the first place?" the ODS member asked.
Other Facebook users responded critically by telling the zoo director he is a racist. "I wrote the word gypsy [cikánka]. You and those like you are the ones inferring racist prejudice," Aktuálně.cz reports the director as posting.
"I meant my remarks in the context of the heir's multicultural enrichment, which is having such resonance in the public arena," the zoo director went on to claim. Hynek Fajmon, chair of the ODS association in the Nymburk area, told Aktuálně.cz that he had yet to read what the zoo director had posted.
"I assume this was a failed attempt at a joke," Fajmon told Aktuálně.cz. "Each person is responsible for his own remarks. I will communicate my position on this matter to him personally."
The mother of Meghan Markle, who is now the Duchess of Sussex after marrying Prince Harry on Saturday, is African-American. The father of the bride has his roots in the Netherlands.
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