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September 23, 2018
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Fifth anniversary of Czech court dissolving the neo-Nazi Workers Party

Prague, 17.2.2015 21:46, (ROMEA)
DSSS party leader Tomáš Vandas (in sunglasses) at a demonstration. (Photo:  František Kostlán)
DSSS party leader Tomáš Vandas (in sunglasses) at a demonstration. (Photo: František Kostlán)

Five years ago, on 17 February 2010, the Czech Supreme Administrative Court agreed with a Government motion to dissolve the ultra-right Workers' Party (DS). The court ruled in favor of the Government on its second attempt.

The first attempt to dissolve this political party was requested in November 2008 by Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek (Civic Democratic Party - ODS), but justices rejected the motion in March 2009. Both nongovernmental activists and the opposition said the government's motion had been poorly reasoned.

A second, successful attempt to dissolve the DS was undertaken by Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer. The end of the DS was the first case in the history of the independent Czech Republic where a party had to close because of its political activity.  

Justices found that the party's ideas, program and symbols involved chauvinistic and xenophobic elements, a racist subtext, and were carrying on the ideology of Adolf Hitler's National Socialism. The DS leadership, however, was prepared for the possibility that the party would be dissolved; after the court ruling, its functionaries and a significant portion of the membership base moved into the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS).

The DS was first registered in December 2002 with the name "New Force" (Nová síla) and changed its name to the Workers' Party on 22 January 2003. It was created by former members of the Republican Party, which was connected with the figure of Miroslav Sládek.

The chair of the DS was Tomáš Vandas, a former secretary for the Republican Party who is now the head of the DSSS. During its eight years of existence, the DS never gained sufficient voter support to seat representatives in Parliament or at regional level, but after the EP elections in 2009 it received state funding in proportion to the votes cast for it. 

brf, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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