Czech MP who said she "understood" racist death threats against Romani and other non-white children switches parties
Czech MP Tereza Hyťhová has left the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party and its club in the lower house, according to a post to her Facebook profile confirmed to the Czech News Agency (ČTK) by text message. She will now collaborate in the Chamber of Deputies with the Tricolor party chaired by Václav Klaus Jr.
The SPD's standpoint is that the correct thing for her to do would be to resign from office altogether. "Today I sent my resignation letter to the chair of the club for deputies of the SPD movement and also ended my membership in the SPD movement," the MP posted.
"I have been heading toward taking this step for some time as I began to recognize, more and more, that the actual essence of the SPD is that it is a business. I perceive politics to be about duelling values, defending opinions, not a way to make a living or to cultivate the egos of some individuals," Hyťhová said.
"I will continue to advocate for my patriotic sensibilities and opinions and I will continue to work for our citizens in that direction as I have to date," she posted. The SPD, however, is alleging that Hyťhová has lost the trust of other members in the regional organization of the movement to which she belonged and therefore also lost the certainty that she would run from an electable position on the candidate list next time.
"Instead of working to renew trust, she has addressed this by deserting the SPD for a party that is offering her an electable place on their list. Decency would require she resign from the post she acquired thanks to the SPD and make room for an SPD member to replace her," reads the party's statement, provided to the ČTK by its spokesperson.
Hyťhová drew attention in 2017 when she expressed comprehension to the daily Týdeník Směr for the death threats and other hateful commentaries being posted on social media networks beneath the photograph of a first-grade class at a school in the Prosetice quarter of Teplice in which most of the children were not white. "When we see such a photograph, I get what it is that the people who are bothered by it are alluding to," she said.
The SPD movement won 22 seats in the lower house in the most recent election, but in March 2019, after disputes with party chair Tomio Okamura, three MPs left the movement and its faction in the legislature: Marian Bojko, Ivana Nevludová and Lubomír Volný. Those former SPD lawmakers have joined the Jednotní ("The Uniform Ones") movement, which did not win enough votes to be seated in Parliament.
In April of this year, on the other hand, MP Jaroslav Foldyna left the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) to join the SPD club in the lower house. The SPD has 19 members in the Czech Chamber of Deputies now that Hyťhová has left.
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