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Ladislav Body, Romani man elected MP in the former Czechoslovakia, has passed away

27.11.2017 9:34
Ladislav Body (speaking into microphones) in an archival photograph from 2 June 1998, discussing the delivery of a petition to the office of the mayor with the first 25 signatures against the building of a wall on Matiční Street in Ústí nad Labem. (PHOTO:  Czech News Agency)
Ladislav Body (speaking into microphones) in an archival photograph from 2 June 1998, discussing the delivery of a petition to the office of the mayor with the first 25 signatures against the building of a wall on Matiční Street in Ústí nad Labem. (PHOTO: Czech News Agency)

On Saturday, 26 November 2017 a former deputy to the Czech National Council and to the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Ladislav Body, passed away at the age of 68. A relative of his has confirmed this to news server Romea.cz.

Mr Body was elected in the year 1990 on the candidate list of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) to the Czech National Council, where he became a member of the Committee for Territorial Administration and Nationality. He became a candidate thanks to collaboration between the Democratic Roma Union, in which he was active, and the KSČM.

He defended his seat during the 1992 elections, this time on the candidate list of the Left Bloc, which was a coalition between the Democratic Left, the KSČM, and other smaller left-wing groups. He then became a member of the Committee on Petitions, Human Rights and Nationality.

In January 1993, when an independent Czech Republic came into being and the Czech National Council was transformed into the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Mr Body became a member of that body. While during the 1990-1992 electoral period there had been several Romani members of the highest legislative bodies of Czechoslovakia, after the 1992 elections Mr Body became the only Romani MP in the Czech Parliament after the Romani Civic Initiative lost.

Mr Body planned to run during the elections to the lower house in 1996 for the Left Bloc, but eventually withdrew his candidacy. He attempted to return to politics during the lower house elections of 1998 as a candidate for the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) in the North Bohemian Region.

He was not elected on that occasion. After leaving parliamentary politics he continued to dedicate himself to Romani issues and was active for a long time as a bureaucrat at the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry of the Czech Republic, where he chaired a commission.

In 1998 Mr Body became engaged in the protests against the building of a wall on Matiční Street in Ústí nad Labem to separate non-Roma and Romani parts of a neighborhood. The construction was eventually purchased by the local zoo.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Osobnosti, Politika, úmrtí, Wall



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