CZECH FAR-RIGHT PARTY CHAIRMAN EXPECTS COURT NOT TO DISSOLVE IT

Tomas Vandas, head of the Czech extra-parliamentary ultra-right Workers' Party (DS), expects the court to turn down the government's proposal for the DS's dissolution in January, he said today, calling the government proposal a pile of expedient lies.

10/10/2009- He was commenting on the proposal worked out by the Interior Ministry and submitted to the Supreme Administrative Court. The DS is expected to provide its comments on it by mid-November. The proposal is a pile of expedient lies aimed to liquidate an opposition party that spreads uncomfortable ideas and that enjoys increasing support of citizens, Vandas said. In its proposal the government says the DS intentionally foments tension in society, permanently offends minorities and imminently threatens democracy. "The government speaks about the danger of people's support to us rising in the period of economic crisis and social problems. This clearly shows that the government is only afraid of political competition and that the only goal of the proposed abolition of the DS is the government's effort to prevent an increase in the popularity of a genuine opposition that has a big chance to enter the Chamber of Deputies in the next years," Vandas said. He said he will represent the DS in the court proceedings by himself, but the necessary material for him will be prepared by a team of lawyers. The court might hold its first hearing on the case in December, the final decision might be known in January, Vandas said. He said in court he will gradually comment on each point in the government's proposal. Already today he labelled some of the points as expedient manipulation with very weak evidence in their support. Vandas said he expects the court to turn the government proposal down as it did with the previous similar proposal earlier this year.

It ensues from the government's documents that the DS has 670 members at present. Some of them were convicted for racially motivated attacks and hateful verbal attacks in the past. Some of them publish their articles in the DS's newspaper as well as on the website of the National Resistance, an unofficial neo-Nazi grouping. Various DS members and candidates for membership take part in neo-Nazi concerts and meetings, and were or have been active within the National Resistance and other ultra-right groups, such as the Autonomous Nationalist and National Corporativism, the government says. Vandas today said his party is convinced that the people whom the government materials mention as leading neo-Nazis whose activities illustrate the links and ties [between the DS and neo-Nazis] are mostly decent working people, students, university graduates, with a clean criminal record. Vandas also dismissed as ridiculous the argument that the DS held some of its events on April 18 in order to propagate Adolf Hitler, whose name and surname begin with the first and the eight letter of the alphabet, respectively. "Under such logic, the number 18 must be deleted as a party's number in elections, as it would support Adolf Hitler's ideas," Vandas said. In its analysis of the DS programme, the government points to the displays of hatred for Romanies, immigrants and homosexuals. "The programme and activities of the DS representatives are based on permanent offending and defaming certain minority groups, with the aim to create negative feelings, fear and hatred towards various groups of the population," the government proposal for the DS's dissolution says. This poses a threat to democracy in the Czech Republic, it adds. Vandas said the DS is planning a big march along Prague's Narodni street on November 17 to mark the anniversary of the events that occurred there in 1989.
Ceske Noviny

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