KSCM Stands by their Man – Demands ANO Accept Communist Era Riot Cop’s Nomination

Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) – ANO, the far strongest entity in the Czech lower house, will decide only next week on whether to back controversial Communist (KSCM) nominee Zdenek Ondracek for head of the commission supervising he General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS), ANO MPs’ group head Jaroslav Faltynek said today.


Earlier today, the KSCM deputy group rejected ANO’s demand for the KSCM to reconsider its nomination of Ondracek.


On Monday, Andrej Babis’ ANO asked the KSCM to reconsider the nomination on account of the past of Ondracek, a former police and a member of the riot police unit, who took part in a crackdown on anti-Communist demonstrators in 1989.


“The [KSCM] group has refused to have anything dictated to it,” an insider source told CTK.


ANO suggested Ondracek’s replacement in reaction to an appeal by presidential candidate Michal Horacek, who warned of Ondracek supervising the police.


Ondracek visited a meeting of the ANO deputies this morning at ANO’s request, responding their questions for about an hour.


The ANO deputies will ponder on whether to support him before December 15 when the Chamber of Deputies’ plenary session starts voting on the lineup of its control and other commissions.


ANO will make up its mind in this respect next week, he added.


With 78 seats, ANO has a decisive say in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies, where most parties have refused to vote for Ondracek due to his past as a communist riot police.


Tomio Okamura, leader of the Freedom and Democracy (SPD) movement, which commentators view as ANO’s ally together with the KSCM, said he considers Ondracek’s nomination unfortunate, but SPD deputies expect him to visit their meeting and ask for their support.


When parties agreed on the division of top posts in lower house commissions last week, “we decided not to interfere in the nomination of concrete candidates” by other parties, Okamura said on behalf of the SPD.


Addressed by media today, KSCM deputy chairman Jiri Dolejs would not comment on whether ANO’s refusal to back Ondracek would lead to the KSCM’s eventual refusal to back ANO’s minority cabinet formed by Babis in parliament’s vote of confidence.


The KSCM never promised Babis to back his cabinet, it only said it can imagine supporting it in an emergency situation and on certain conditions, Dolejs said.


The Chamber of Deputies is to fill the posts in its commissions at its session to start on December 12. It is to elect their chairpersons in January.


The deadline to nominate the commission members has expired.

The Chamber of Deputies elects the commission chairpersons as a whole.


“It will come out at the plenary session whether the ANO movement really means it. We can certainly still take a stance on it during the vote on the commissions’ heads,” Vit Rakusan (Mayors and Independents, STAN), member of the Chamber of Deputies security committee, said on Monday, warning of the cooperation of ANO, the SPD and the Communists in the Chamber of Deputies in previous votes.


The deputies for Pirates and TOP 09 are also against Ondracek’s holding the post in question.