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Kertészová (SPOZ), Romani candidate to the Czech lower house: It's positive so many Roma are running

Karlovy Vary, 16.10.2013 1:56, (ROMEA)
Gabriela Kertészová is running for the Citizens' Rights Party for Zeman (Strana práv občanů Zemanovci - SPOZ) in the Karlovy Vary Region in 14th place.
Gabriela Kertészová is running for the Citizens' Rights Party for Zeman (Strana práv občanů Zemanovci - SPOZ) in the Karlovy Vary Region in 14th place.

An unusually high number of Romani people are running in this year's early elections compared to years past. The monthly Romano voďi, published by the ROMEA association, has done its best to interview all the candidates running for the lower house and will run those interviews in addition to publishing analytical material about the elections.

News server Romea.cz will be gradually publishing these interviews. We consider these elections to be important, key, and we hope to bring you the opinions of all those asking for your vote.

This interview introduces Gabriela Kertészová, who is running for the Citizens' Rights Party for Zeman (Strana práv občanů Zemanovci - SPOZ) in Karlovy Vary Region in 14th place.

Q:  Why the SPOZ? Have you ever been a member of any other political group before this?

A:  I joined the SPOZ because I agree with its electoral program 300. The main point of that program is to adopt a law requiring proof of the origins of one’s assets and income, including the option to confiscate illegal gains, i.e., stolen property, as well as legislating a way for politicians to be removed from office before their terms end. I am of the opinion that a law on proving the origins of one’s assets should be a priority for every politician in our country. Unfortunately, this is not yet the case, and that is why the SPOZ is unacceptable to the right-wing parties. The SPOZ program also discusses reducing VAT on groceries and medicines by 10 %. As for your question of whether I have ever been a member of some other political party before, I have not.

Q:  What chance, in your view, does the SPOZ have in the early elections in general and in your region in particular?

A:  I am both an optimist and a realist about this, because I believe and think that we will succeed in passing at least the 5 % threshold in these early elections. I would be very glad if the SPOZ were represented in the lower house of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, and if that were to be thanks to the Karlovy Vary Region, where unemployment is currently 10.5 %.

Q:  What do you say to the "alliance" of the Equal Opportunity Party (SRP) with the Greens making it possible for SRP members or nominees to run on the Green Party candidate lists?

A:  That was based on their own political decisions. I have a positive view of those parties and I am glad they are participating in the early elections. SPOZ is willing to collaborate across the political spectrum in accordance with its Program 300, which I have already mentioned.

Q:  This year rather a lot of Romani people are running for various parties. What do you make of this?

A:  In my opinion this is because of the situation in the Czech Republic at this moment, when xenophobic sentiments are continuing to intensify between the majority society and the Romani minority. On the other hand, it’s good that so many of us are not indifferent to the fate of the Czech Republic and are doing our best to get involved in public affairs. We must realize that we are also citizens of this country and that everyone here is equal before the law. I believe it is very positive to see so many Romani people running in these elections. 

Q:  If elected, should the Romani candidates collaborate with one another even though they represent various points along the political spectrum?

A:  As I said above, SPOZ is not opposed to collaborating with other parties and I personally would be very glad if the representatives of various political parties finally stopped arguing with one another and found common solutions that will benefit the citizens of our country.

Q:  What does Romanipen mean to you?

A:  I am the child of a mixed marriage, I grew up in the Czech community and I have many friends who are Romani. I don't care what nationality people are, my concern is what a specific individual is like inside.

Q:  What do politics and your participation in them symbolize to you?

A:  Politics reflect society. Even though we encounter the opinion here that politics is not for decent people, I think they are important and need to be transformed. Politicians should do their best to strive for interpersonal understanding, and they should interact with the people more. Because I visit various families regularly, I know how people are living. That's hard to learn about when you are sitting behind a desk in an office.

These interviews will be published in the print edition of Romano voďi magazine, the October edition of which will feature edited versions of all of these interviews (in Czech only). You can order a copy of the October edition at romea@romea.cz.

Jarmila Balážová, Jana Baudyšová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Czech republic, Election 2013



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