Thousands Demonstrate Against Zeman’s Stance Towards Russia

On Thursday evening, several thousand people gathered in the main cities of the Czech Republic to express their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Babiš and President Zeman. In Brno, the event was convened by the group Společně pro-Brno, which is connected with Million Moments for Democracy. Photo Credit:

Czech Rep., Apr 30 (BD) – On Thursday evening, several thousand people gathered in Prague and in other cities of the Czech Republic to express their dissatisfaction with President Miloš Zeman’s comments on the Vrbětice case and his pro-Kremlin positions. The demonstrations against the President and other politicians were organized by the Million Moments Association, a civic initiative established after the parliamentary elections in 2017.

At the demonstration in Prague, Benjamin Roll, the chairman of the association, said that Zeman was gambling on the country’s security with his recent actions. 

“Everything that Miloš Zeman has done with Russia during his term of office, and especially how he is continuing with the line of disinformation and the questioning of Czech security services after the Vrbetice revelation, has a clear name – high treason,” Roll said.

He then called on senators to begin the process of removing Zeman from the presidency by proposing a constitutional lawsuit against the president. According to Roll, the only hope for the improvement of the situation is a clear victory of the pro-democracy parties in the October parliamentary elections.

“We demand that the pro-democracy parties reject all offers for any form of government cooperation with the ANO movement, SPD extremists or the Communists, or their support,” said Roll. The founder of Million Moments, Mikuláš Minář, stepped down from his role last year to launch a new political party, but the project was ended in March due to a lack of public support.

Roll added that it is also necessary to maintain the independence of the public media, strengthen the independence of the judiciary, and exclude “dangerous powers” from strategic contracts, such as the tender for the completion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

Michael Kocáb, former Minister of Human Rights and National Minorities, read an open letter calling on senators to file a constitutional lawsuit against Zeman. He argued that the president delivered his speech on Vrbětice late, questioned the results of the investigation, and behaved as an advocate of the Russian Federation, not the head of the Czech state. Kocáb then called on the protesters to sign the letter.

According to Million Moments, Babiš’s conflict of interest is also contributing to the disintegration of the Czech Republic. The association highlights the final audit report from the European Commission, which states that the Prime Minister co-decides on the direction of EU subsidies while at the same time controls the Agrofert holding.

Before the event, Million Moments urged participants to follow anti-coronavirus hygiene measures and recommendations. Two-meter intervals were marked on Wenceslas Square, and the organizers requested participants to obtain negative tests before joining the protest.

According to ČTK, about 800 people gathered in Brno for the demonstration, waving European and Czech flags and banners criticizing Babiš and Zeman.

The event was convened by the group Společně pro-Brno, which is connected with Million Moments for Democracy. Former senator Zdeněk Papoušek spoke at the demonstration. “The president knows how willing the human brain is to believe in misinformation and lies, so it is spreading. The president willingly blesses these lies,” he said.

The struggle for the control of Czech Television was criticized by the theater director Břetislav Rychlík. “Having the television broken up before the elections is the worst thing that could happen,” he said. “In addition, during a pandemic, it is an important public service.”

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