President condemns violence at pre-election events
President Václav Klaus has condemned violence at pre-election meetings, saying it has no place in Czech democracy. The president discussed the issue on Wednesday outside the Czech Radio building, reacting to incidents a day earlier at two separate Social Democrat meetings. In one, held in Slaný, a group of students carried anti-Social Democrat placards, including one suggesting the assassination of party leader Jiří Paroubek. At a second meeting, in Kladno, an unknown assailant threw a litre-sized jar of pickled sausages but luckily hit no one. The Social Democrats had appealed to the president to react to the incidents.
Members of the country’s other largest political party, the Civic Democrats, have also condemned violence at party meetings, but the party’s election leader Petr Nečas suggested that the incidents could easily have been orchestrated by the Social Democrats in the run up to the election – an allegation the party has strongly denied.