Large turnout expected for protests against acting government – Monday
The number of participants at Monday’s demonstration is expected to exceed that of the #VyjdiVen protests of March 15. Photo: #VyjdiVen protest at náměstí Svobody // Credit: Thomas Deutscher
Brno, Apr 6 (BD) – A large turnout is expected for Monday’s nationwide ‘NO to Babiš in another Abuse of Power’ protests (NE Babišovi v dalším zneužívání moci), the first in a potential series of protests dubbed ‘Five Minutes to Midnight’ (Za 5 Dvanáct).
As of Friday morning, approximately 1,200 people had already indicated on the Brno protest Facebook page that they would be attending the demonstration, and another 4,700 had expressed interest in attending.
The protest in Prague, also on Monday, stands to draw 8,000 concerned citizens with an additional 28,000 indicating their interest in attending the protest, according to the Prague protest Facebook page.
The protests are being organised by students who wish to show their support for the ideas of a social media movement called ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ (Milion chvilek pro demokracii), whose mission statement is available in Czech on their website milionchvilek.cz.
Monday’s protest in Brno, which is scheduled to take place from 6pm to 7pm at Liberty Square (Náměstí Svobody), will focus on the integrity of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš himself and the limits of what his caretaker government should be permitted to do, according to Sara Dvořáková, one of the Brno protest’s organisers.
“The message we are trying to get out with these protests is that people should watch what is going on,” Dvořáková explained in a short interview with Brno Daily.
“If you have a government that doesn’t have any kind of support, that should not happen,” she said, alluding to Babiš’s government’s actions despite a failure to win a vote of confidence in parliament (more in The Guardian).
ANO currently holds 78 of the 200 seats in parliament, more than any other party, but Babiš has so far been unable to form a coalition that will put an end to the deadlock created by the hung parliament.
Monday’s protest is meant to represent 11:55pm on a symbolic ‘Five Minutes to Midnight’ doomsday clock and will focus on Babiš’s suitability as Prime Minister.
“The first ‘minute’ is about the issue of him being under investigation [for allegedly defrauding the EU of two million euros]. And actually, there is another problem, and that’s from the Slovak side,” said Dvořáková, referring to the Slovakian Constitutional Court’s ruling, disputed by Babiš (ČTK, published on Prague Daily Monitor), that he had acted as an informant to the secret police in communist Czechoslovakia.
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