Zeman defends absence on anniversaries of Soviet invasion, Velvet Revolution

President Miloš Zeman has warned the Social Democrats, who had a poor showing in the recent municipal and Senate elections, of a possible split in the party of which he was a long-time chairman.

In a wide-ranging interview with Czech Radio on Monday evening live from the presidential residence in Lány, Zeman again said he favoured a dissolution of the Senate.

He also defended his decision not to make appearances on 17 November, the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and on 21 August, the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops, saying it was enough for him to remember these dates in silence.

Zeman said he would speak on 28 October, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Czechoslovak independence, when State honours are given out. He also revealed that he will honour resistance fighter Josef Bílý posthumously.

The Czech president also recalled in the interview how he had used obscene expressions in a live broadcast four years ago. Despite protests from the moderator, Zeman once again used vulgar words in the live interview.

Author: Brian Kenety