Prague, March 1 (CTK) – Thousands of people attended a protest rally staged by the Million Moments for Democracy movement in reaction to a recent election of new ombudsman Stanislav Křeček in Prague today.
The activists said the protest did not target Křeček himself, but the decay of the institutions that are to check the rules and serve citizens.
The protesters started the march at around 16:00. Marching from the Hradčanské náměstí square, they were joined by hundreds of newcomers.
Several more hundreds were waiting at the Old Town Square in Prague centre.
The protest was calm, lasting roughly two hours and a half.
At the head of the march, the activists were carrying a large chair denoted as Democracy, whose legs are to be symbolised by Courts, Media, Government and Law.
The marchers were also carrying slogans against Prime Minister Andrej Babis and the banners saying “Russian-Chinese Behaviour is Close to Totalitarianism,” “We Want to March on Road of EU, Not of Orban, Kaczynski” and “Media Do Not Belong to Politicians.”
The activists called on people to carefully watch the elections to media councils of public institutions.
Politicians’ statements have indicated that they will try to gain influence in them, especially in Czech Television, Mikulas Minar, the chairman of the Million Moments for Democracy movement, said.
“Let us be ready to stand up for the institution if need be,” Minar added.
Other speeches stressed the role of civic society. Slovak sociologist living in Prague Fedor Gal said without it, no change or the victory of the Slovak Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLaNO) in the Saturday Slovak general election would be possible.
Minar spoke about Krecek in his opening speech.
He said Křeček only wanted to defend some rights and only the rights of some citizens.
The group said earlier Křeček denied the sense of the ombudsman institution.
The protest also wants to warn of the civil service and major institutions being step by step and deliberately disintegrated and privatised in the political sphere.
Tens of police were watching the event.
The calm protest was ended by the national anthem, sung by opera singer Dagmar Peckova.