Ivan Bartos Milos Zeman

Matt Atlas

Pirates Drop Dissident Ruml From Candidates


Plzen, West Bohemia, May 8 (CTK) – The national forum of the Pirates has decided to withdraw Jan Ruml, a former Czech post-communist interior minister and senator and dissident under the Communist regime, from their list of candidates to the Senate, spokeswoman Karolina Sadilkova told CTK today.


Ruml said he respected the decision, adding that he believed the Pirates could consider him a political representative of the 1990s.


He said he would not run for any other party.


Ruml, 65, is a “registered supporter” of the Pirates, not a member of the party.


Sadilkova said 66 percent of the voting Pirates were for the withdrawal of Ruml’s nomination.


Ruml, a dissident under the communist regime, is a well-known figure of the Czechoslovak and Czech politics of the 1990s. A former interior minister for the Civic Democrats (ODS), he assisted in the ODS’s rift in 1997 and the birth of a splinter party, the Freedom Union, which became defunct in the 2000s.


He was a senator for the Prague ward in 1998-2004, the last four years holding the post of senate deputy head.


“The vote of the national forum arose from the initiative of members of the National Committee as a reaction to a poll conducted among the rank-and-file,” Sadilkova said.


Pirates leader Ivan Bartos said this was a “show of a well-working direct party democracy in practice.”