Communist Riot Cop Ondracek Beat in Lower House Vote

Prague, Dec 15 (CTK) – Controversial Czech Communist (KSCM) MP Zdenek Ondracek was not elected head of the lower house commission supervising the General Inspection of Security Forces (GIBS) in the first round of the secret vote today.


Ondracek was the only candidate for the post. He won 85 out of 186 votes today, while a majority is needed to be elected.


Ondracek had been a member of the riot police unit that took part in a crackdown on anti-Communist demonstrators in 1989.


The second round of the secret vote will be held probably next week. Ondracek is likely to be the only candidate for the post again. If he fails to be elected next week, a new election would be held.


The parties in parliament previously agreed that the post of the head of the commission supervising GIBS would go to the KSCM. Some of them proposed that the KSCM nominate a different candidate. The Communists rejected it.


“The vote became a political symbol to a certain extent. It actually shows the balance of force in the lower house,” KSCM deputy head Jiri Dolejs told journalists.


He said it seemed pointless to him to repeat the same vote once again.


KSCM leader Vojtech Filip said Ondracek had a security clearance.


“The second round is likely to be held next week and it is a question whether the KSCM would nominate Ondracek again or not,” said MP Jaroslav Faltynek, who heads the group of ANO MPs, which is the biggest group in the house.


Presidential candidate Michal Horacek who had openly protested against Ondracek’s nomination, welcomed it that the lower house did not elect him.


Before the vote today, MP Vit Rakusan (Mayors and Independents, STAN) called on the KSCM group to reconsider Ondracek’s nomination. He said he did not challenge Ondracek’s expert knowledge, but a person who had intervened against demonstrators with a baton in his hand in 1989 should not hold such a post.


Jan Bartosek, who heads the Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) lower house group, said the dispute showed that the KSCM is a party that cannot reform itself.


Until now, Czech democratic parties refused to form a central government with the KSCM because of its extremist views. As a result, the KSCM has been in opposition since 1989.