Andrej Babis


Crowd Boos Babis Over Fears Of Communist Return To Power

Andrej Babiš

Prague, Aug 21 (CTK) – People showed their apprehensions of the return of Communists to power by whistling during the speeches that the government ANO officials, including PM Andrej Babis, gave at today’s meeting commemorating victims of the Soviet-led invasion from 1968, opposition representatives have said.


Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) deputy chairman Daniel Herman said ruling together with the Communists (KSCM) it is shameful.


He alluded to the new minority cabinet of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) which has been kept afloat by the KSCM.


KDU-CSL lawmaker Jan Bartosek said he understands people’s resistance.


In reaction to the whistling today, lower house chairman Radek Vondracek (ANO) stressed that the KSCM is not a part of the cabinet. He said it was prudent of the KSCM to have enabled the birth of the ANO-CSSD cabinet earlier this summer.


“The Communists bear responsibility for the [pre-1989] totalitarian regime…The fact that someone is governing together with these people is shameful. People clearly showed this opinion, which is good,” Herman, a former culture minister, told reporters.


He said he disagrees with the opinion of some that by whistling and chanting slogans, the crowd disgraced the remembrance of the victims of the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact troops.


“On the contrary, I think that people have shown that they do not consider this unimportant,” Herman said, referring to the current cabinet’s dependance on the Communist support.


According to Bartosek, the ANO trampled on the memory of the 1968 events by having invited the Communists to power.


Lower house deputy chairman Vojtech Pikal (Pirates) told CTK that people want to make clear their annoyance at Babis as prime minister.


“Their expression of disapproval definitely corresponded to the given situation. Of course, the question is whether such expression should be made during a commemorative meeting. Silent ways of protest are also possible,” Pikal said.


TOP 09 deputies’ group chairman Miroslav Kalousek, who did not attend the meeting today, said it is an insult of the victims if they are remembered by a former “StB member”.


He alluded to a dispute in which Slovak courts recently dismissed Babis’s complaint that his name unrightfully figures in the files of the former communist secret police (StB) as their collaborator.


TOP 09 chairman Jiri Pospisil, too, said it is rather embarrassing if the prime minister, who has been ruling together with the Communists, goes to commemorate the victims of a communist putsch and the Soviet Communists’ attack on Czechoslovakia.