Czech Republic: Romani candidates establish movement for local elections
A group of local Romani residents of Trmice (Ústí Region) has decided to change the place where they were born, live and work. They have put together a list of independent candidates for this year's municipal elections, the Together for Trmice (Independent Vote) movement (Společně pro Trmice (Nezávislá volba), which is running under number 10.
There are 15 candidates on the list, all of whom are Romani. The reason they are running is clear and simple.
The candidates want to participate in public life in the town to the benefit of all of its residents. They don't want to just passively watch anti-Romani sentiment rise in society and coexistence deteriorate.
The candidates have many backers among the local Romani community who support them, as well as admirers who live further away, because they are willing to publicly step out of the crowd to present their vision."We are proud," says candidate Bc. Martin Bajger, "that we have succeeded in putting together a group of people who can stand on their records of everyday, honest work. This group came together on its own, it is a group in which each person is willing to design and execute what we commit to."
The creation of the Together for Trmice (Independent Vote) is welcomed by the Counseling Center for Citizenship/Civil and Human Rights (Poradna pro občanství/Občanská a lidská práva - PPO), which supports the enhancement of Romani civil and political participation. PPO opened a branch in Trmice in March 2014; its social workers have been explaining to local citizens how important it is that they actively take advantage of the right to vote and how to become properly involved in the electoral process.
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