Source — The GuardianRead country-profile
Czech Republic: protesters inflamed by police role for Communist MP.
Thousands of demonstrators brought the centre of Prague to a standstill on Monday night in a display of anger over the appointment of a communist-era riot squad officer to head the Czech parliament’s police watchdog.
Chanting “communists are murderers” and “we have had enough”, protesters held sheets of paper rolled up to resemble police batons in an expression of indignation over the installation of Zdeněk Ondráček, a Czech Communist party MP, as chair of the parliament’s general inspection of security forces commission.
The choice of Ondráček to head a sensitive committee overseeing police wrongdoing was confirmed in a parliamentary vote last week despite objections that he had served in a unit that beat up pro-democracy demonstrators in the 1989 Velvet Revolution before the fall of communism in what was then Czechoslovakia.
Monday’s protest coincided with simultaneous demonstrations in 10 other Czech cities and towns, including the second largest city, Brno. Protesters congregating in Prague’s Wenceslas Square – scene of the 1989 mass demonstrations that triggered the downfall of the former communist regime – focused their anger on prime minister Andrej Babiš, who is accused of facilitating Ondráček’s appointment in exchange for the support of 15 Communist party MPs for a government led by his ANO party, which is the biggest grouping in parliament but lacks sufficient numbers to form a majority.
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