Czech interior ministry warns against extremist SPD Party 

A leaked report of the Interior Ministry revealed concerns about extremist parties like SPD. But apparently, the centrist government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is dodging the issue, because it needs SPD's support to form a ruling coalition.

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Czech interior ministry warns against extremist SPD Party  - NewsMavens
Tomio Okamura, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

The report was leaked on Wednesday by the news site Aktualne.cz. It details concerns over the activity of the the anti-EU, anti-Roma and anti-refugee SPD party, which -- according to the report -- is attempting to influence high-level decisions on security issues such as EU and NATO membership.

The report has yet to be approved for release by Minister Lubomir Metnar (ANO), who denies that the report was kept unpublished for fear of offending the SPD. However, Aktualne.cz claims that four high-ranking sources from the Interior Ministry have confirmed this. 

Czechia's Prime Minister, media tycoon Andrej Babiš, has been struggling to form a coalition since his minority cabinet lost a vote of confidence in January.

Nevertheless, President Miloš Zeman is likely to name Babis Prime Minister again in mid-June. Babiš’s centrist ANO party, which won the October elections last year,  has often been labelled a populist movement by analysts. it has also helped the Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) access important positions in the Parliamentary Chamber of Deputies -- where controversial SPD leader, Tomio Okamura, has a seat as vice president. 

Details from the story:

  • SPD’s rhetoric is anti-EU, anti-Roma, anti-refugee, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam. SPD even proposes to make “manifestations of Islam illegal”. Babiš’s government adopted a neutral position towards this proposal, i.e. hasn’t rejected it as absurd. 
  • To secure its postion, ANO has struck a deal with the centre-left Social democrats (CSSD), but still needs to win the consent of the CSSD members in the internal referendum. Furthermore, Babis needs the parliamentary vote of the far-left Communist party (KSCM). If this deal fails, Babiš’s minority government could rule with the  president’s blessing and backed by KSCM, as well as the far-right SPD. 
  • The last time when an unofficial coalition of ANO, SPD and the Communists acted together was their prevention of parliamentary discussion about President’s Zeman Novichok statement about Czechia's production of a chemical warfare agent.
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