Czech Interior Minister says MP is lying about foreign nationals voting
Czech MP Tomio Okamura (SPD), the vice-chair of the lower house and chair of the populist, xenophobic SPD party, announced on his official Facebook profile on Sunday that "Foreigners without Czech citizenship will newly be able to vote in the Czech Republic and run for office!" He also accused the new Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček of having instituted the measures immediately upon taking office.
Ever since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004 it has been the case that the only "foreigners" who can vote there are citizens of EU Member States residing on Czech territory. Such persons are only allowed to vote during local elections.
Okamura has deceptively posted the following to his official profile: "Foreigners without Czech citizenship will newly be able to vote in the Czech Republic and run for office! Just a couple of days after the minister and Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) chair Jan Hamáček occupied the Interior Ministry, he is beginning to run amok. The ministry will make it possible, in this October's local elections, for foreigners to vote in the Czech Republic and also to vote for a foreigner (!!) who does not have Czech citizenship. The SPD movement fundamentally disagrees with this."
Hamáček responded to Okamura's manipulative communication by accusing him of lying. "The right to vote is held only by citizens of European Union Member States who are resident on Czech territory, and only in local elections!" the Interior Minister responded.
"This is nothing new. Citizens of the Czech Republic living elsewhere in the EU have been able to take advantage of this right since 2004, just like the citizens of other EU Member States residing in the Czech Republic," Hamáček continued.
"The situation is the same, for example, in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. This right is held by all EU citizens and has been anchored in its founding treaties since 1997, it applies throughout the entire EU and applies to local elections only," the Interior Minister explained.
"EU citizens are not able to vote in elections for the legislature or the presidency. This right is being exercised in the Czech Republic on the order of several dozen voters (200 maximum)," the Interior Minister said.
Okamura's party was included in the annual Report on Extremism for 2017, produced by the Department of Security Policy and Crime Prevention at the Interior Ministry, which has yet to be approved for publication but was leaked to the media some time ago. "While the SPD movement is not an extremist entity according to the definition used by the Interior Ministry, it does choose similar subject matter as that chosen by right-wing extremists and not infrequently adopts similar opinions to theirs about it," the report says.
"In some cases, SPD representatives have expressed themselves even more radically than have the extremist parties on the right as traditionally understood," the report says. The authors also found that Okamura's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim remarks in 2017 were not the first time that he has abused xenophobic rhetoric.
Previously, during a period of greatly exacerbated anti-Romani atmosphere in the country, Okamura deviated toward antigypsyist statements. According to the report, the SPD movement has unambiguously influenced the form of the domestic extremist scene.
Each entity involved with that scene has had to redefine itself somehow in relation to the party. Extremist groups on the right as traditionally understood perceive the SPD as their competition and were aware during 2017 that this different entity was entering their traditional area of activity.
- Czech Interior Ministry: SPD movement has assumed the agenda of the extreme right
- Romani entrepreneurs push for unemployed Roma, not foreigners, to be hired for Czech bark beetle eradication
- Czech Supreme Court closes case of vote-buying at Romani housing estate, public interest of secret recording was key
- Antipathy towards foreigners falls in Czech Republic, Arabs and Roma still the least liked
- Czech Foreign Ministry flies Romani flag, outgoing Foreign Minister and Justice Minister meet with Roma
- Controversial Czech housing estate in the hands of foreign nationals: Russians big fans of trafficking in poverty there
- Czech lower house refuses vote about denier of Romani genocide as vice-chair, Christian Democrats call for extraordinary session
- Czech Interior Ministry's quarterly report on extremism: Politicians exploited fears of immigration
- Czech experts point to association between indebtedness and extremist voting patterns
- Analysis: Publicly active Romani figures voted for Drahoš, the socially excluded voted for Zeman
- Czech MP spreads disinformation about terrorist threat, Interior Minister sharply objects
- Czech Green Party co-chair wants Interior Ministry to dissolve the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" Movement
- Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry responds to the myths now multiplying about social housing
- Czech Republic: Theater as a victory over bullying and racism
- Czech extremism report: Islamophobic group uses cyber-bullying
- Activists ask Brussels to stop bullying of Romani children in the Czech schools
- European Roma are sharing an online hoax from 2002 about poisonous cosmetic samples
- Czech ultrachauvinist shares satire online - without getting the joke
- Commentary: Czech Interior Ministry is realizing ultra-nationalist politician is becoming a monster
- French court convicts six arsonists of attack on Romani people
- Commentary: Czech President spouts reassuring nonsense to ultra-nationalists
- Czech MP says his assistant's remark that refugees could be killed with machine guns does not bother him
- Czech Police investigating hateful online comments inciting violence against Czech Radio reporter that were sparked by politician
- Man who gave Nazi salute at anti-EU demonstration in Czech capital fined and given suspended sentence
- Disgraced Austrian leader who backed Czech MP was a neo-Nazi for years, according to new evidence
- Manipulation ahead of the EP vote: The tail wagging the dog
- Czech disinformation websites draw hundreds of thousands, share readership with anti-EU, neo-Nazi and pro-Kremlin websites
- PHOTO GALLERY: Demonstration by the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement and those counter-protesting it