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Monday, 22 February 2010

Dissolved Extreme Right Wing Workers' Party members to run in elections (Czech)

Representatives of the Czech ultra-right Workers' Party (DS), which was dissolved by the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS), will run in the May general election for the allied Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS), DS chairman Tomas Vandas told reporters Saturday.
The DS members will also join the new party, Vandas, who will be the main face of the election campaign, added.
"Our people will run for this political entity," he said.
Policemen were patrolling outside the press conference's venue to monitor possible promotion of the DS in public, Prague police spokesman Tomas Hulan said.
The NSS decided to dissolve the extra-parliamentary DS on Wednesday, complying with the proposal of the government saying the DS is extremist and poses a threat to democracy.
The court justified the verdict concluding that the DS's programme, ideas and symbols contain the elements of xenophobia, chauvinism, homophobia and a racist subtext, and follow up national socialism, the ideology connected with Adolf Hitler.
The DS is instigating to violence and striving for a radical change of the democratic system, the court said.
This has been the first case of a court dissolving a political party over its political activities in the history of the independent Czech Republic established in 1993.
The DS can file a complain against the verdict with the Constitutional Court within a 30-day deadline, which will have a suspensory effect.
Vandas repeatedly said he can feel public support for the DS and that in spite of its abolition he would like to run in the elections (scheduled for May 28-29).
The NSS at the same time admitted that a number of problems to which the DS pointed really existed. Despite it the dissolving of the party is meaningful as a clear gesture of the society towards neo-Nazis and rightist extremists, the court said.
"The verdict (on the party's dissolution) can in no case halt us or discourage us from our activities, and this is why we have decided that the DS will run as the DSSS in the spring," Vandas said.
However, the party has a negligible chance to cross the 5-percent threshold for entering the Chamber of Deputies, according to analysts and polls.
The DS has now almost 1000 members. Vandas said he expected 90 percent of the them to join the DSSS.
If the DS were deleted from the registry of political parties, the party might return to its original name, Vandas added.
The DS will definitely file a constitutional complaint against the NSS's verdict, but its representatives do not want to risk of the party being excluded from the elections if the US upheld the verdict ahead of them, Vandas said.
The DSSS's first election meetings are to take place in Pribram and Dobris, central Bohemia, on March 27. Vandas will head the election campaign.
The DSSS, seated at the same address as the DS, has been headed by Hana Pavlickova, Vandas's mother, since December 2006.
The DSSS was established as the Party of the Czech Republic's Citizens (SOCR) in January 2004 by Tomas Magnusek, current writer, actor and producer, and former political prisoner Jan Broj, adviser to president Vaclav Havel in 1990-1992, became its first chairman.
The party had almost no members and was unknown.
Magnusek left the party that changed the name to the Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) and joined the coalition Law and Justice, which also comprised the DS.
The DS representatives then took control of the DSSS and filled the post of its head with Pavlickova.
The DSSS says on its website that it wants to defend the rights of working citizens, students and apprentices and support mothers with children and traditional families.
"We do not consider immigration an alternative to secure the nation's natality," the DSSS says, adding it rejects discrimination against or preferential treatment of certain groups.
"The DSSS condemns totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century, mainly Nazism and communism, it continues fighting for our independence from the EU's red tape, for a strict policy against immigrants and the real freedom of speech," the party writes on its website.
It also says it does not cooperate with any unregistered movements or organisations.
According the NSS's verdict, it was proved that the DS was cooperating with the neo-Nazi National Resistance organisation that is not officially registered.