published: 03.10.2013, 16:21 | updated: 03.10.2013 16:27:19
Prague - Czech political parties´ leaders today sharply dismissed criticism addressed to them by former president Vaclav Klaus, who told daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) that he would not advise anyone to vote for the Civic Democrats (ODS) and that Czech parties lack clear ideological profiles.
Klaus, the ODS´s founder and former long-standing chairman, fell out with the party in 2008.
Miroslava Nemcova, the ODS´s deputy chairwoman and leader in the October 25-26 general election, told CTK that Klaus, with his statements, is undermining the Czech right.
By supporting the Chin Up election bloc of Eurosceptic former MEP Jana Bobosikova, Klaus supported a "conglomerate embodying the destruction of the democratic political system as it has no democratic structure to generate both its election candidates and its programme," Nemcova said.
"At the moment, he [Klaus] denies the principle of mainstream political parties as the basis and essence of political life. He prefers something he strongly criticised in the past and that he considered a threat to the democratic system," Nemcova said.
Although Klaus asserts he wants to help the right wing unite, he actually undermines it by his statements, she added.
Miroslav Kalousek, former finance minister and deputy chairman of conservative TOP 09, said Klaus, with his conduct and statements ahead of the elections, is "intentionally helping President [Milos] Zeman."
"Old love never dies," Kalousek added, probably in an allusion to the power-sharing pact of 1998-2002, under which Klaus´s right-wing opposition ODS kept Zeman´s Social Democrat (CSSD) minority government afloat in exchange for a portion of power.
Zeman says he does not back any party in the election battle, but he is widely viewed as an ally of the leftist Party of Citizens´ Rights - the Zemanites (SPOZ), of which he is honorary chairman.
In an interview published by MfD today, Klaus said political parties should each have a clear ideological profile.
"This is definitely not true of our present Dawns, ANOs and TOPs," he said, referring, apart from TOP 09, to two promising new groupings, the Dawn of Direct Democracy of Senator Tomio Okamura and ANO 2011 of billionaire Andrej Babis.
He said the ODS has no chance of addresssing voters.
"A big portion of arrogance is necessary for the professor [Klaus] to advise us how to do it after 21 years of [his] negative impact on Czech society. Only bigmouthed words and a few books will be left behind him. I really feel sorry for him," said Babis.
Okamura said he agrees with Klaus´s opinion that political parties have become a lift to power and lack visions and ideas.
"Our [Dawn] movement is the only exception. We´re offering a vision of a new political system," Okamura, whose movement promotes direct democracy, told CTK.
"In this we are clearly definable and comprehensible," he added.
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