Czech Republic names authoritarians into influential positions in Parliament
3. 3. 2018
Members of Czech Parliament have elected the Communist Deputy Zdeněk Ondráček to chair the police oversight committee of GIBS, the Czech government police inspection authority.
As a 19-year-old, Ondráček joined Czechoslovak communist police and has admitted that he beat some demonstrators with a truncheon during the anti-regime demonstrations of the so-called Palach Week in January 1989, which marked the twentieth-anniversary since the immolation of Jan Palach. Palach had burned himself to death in protest against the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion. At the time, Vondráček granted an interview to communist Czechoslovak Television in which he strongly supported police action against the demonstrators:
"Nic bych neměnil, práce u SNB nelituji," řekl dnes komunista Zdeněk Ondráček po zvolení do čela Stálé komise pro kontrolu GIBS. Jak je vidět v dobovém videu, nelitoval ani zásahu proti demonstrantům v lednu 1989. (Zdroj: ČT) Více na: https://t.co/l3BjQgja92 pic.twitter.com/yfTzUet302— Hospodářské noviny (@Hospodarky) March 2, 2018
Almost thirty years on, he says that he still adheres to his 1989 views that police action against the demonstrators was correct.
Recently, Mr. Ondráček has passionately supported the Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine and has railed on Facebook against the "fascist" government of Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, using fake images (from the making of a historical film) to discredit the regime:
Ondráček is major pro-Putin figure on the Czech political scene. He was elected the Head of the Parliamentary GIBS police oversight committee by MPs from Babiš's populist party ANO, from Okamura's extreme right-wing SPD party and from the Communist Party. The three parties have a parliamentary majority, although they have not formed a formal coalition.
GIBS has recently been under pressure from Andrej Babiš, who has been trying to force its Head Michal Murín to resign. Babiš is being investigated by Czech police for alleged fraud. Observers in the Czech Republic fear that Babiš is trying to replace Murín with his own man who as a new Head of the Police Inspection Service would then dismiss the policemen investigating Babiš's alleged fraudulent behaviour.
Andrej Babiš has not managed to form a government which would have been approved by Czech Parliament but he remains in post as an acting Prime Minister and continues to make major political decisions, although his government is illegitimate.
Czech Parliament has also just elected controversial commentator Petr Žantovský a member of the regulatory committee which controls the work of the state-owned Czech News Agency (ČTK) . Petr Žantovský writes for the Czech Breitbart-like server Parlamentní listy and frequently criticises public service Czech media for not disseminating fake news.
"So they have managed to do this. Interesting times are beginning," says Czech left-wing commentator Ondřej Slačálek:
Several members of the extreme right-wing SPD party, which has 22 seats in the 200-seat Czech Parliament, now hold influential positions in Czech Parliament:
Předsedové bezpečnostních výborů a komisí českého Parlamentu:— Michal Blaha (@michalblaha) March 2, 2018
R. Koten (SPD) - výbor pro bezpečnost
Z. Ondráček (KSČM) - komise pro kontrolu GIBS
M. Rosner (SPD) - komise pro kontrolu NBÚ
P. Jelínek (SPD) - komise pro kontrolu NÚKIB
Radek Koten (SPD), disseminator of fake news, is Chair of the Parliamentary Security Committee.
Miroslav Rozner (SPD) is chair of the Parliamentary committee for the inspection of the National Security Office (NBÚ), a Czech government institution for the protection of classified information. Pavel Jelínek (SPD) is a member of the Parliamentary committee for the inspection of the National Office for Cyber Security (NUKIB).
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