50,000 Czechs Call for a Ban of Communist Party

December 25, 2008 Updated: December 25, 2008

PRAGUE, Czech Republic—A massive petition calling for the ban of the Communist Party has sprung up after the country’s recent elections.

Regional elections across the 14 autonomous regions of the Czech Republic became a fiasco for the right-wing Civic Democratic Party this autumn, as regional governments are now to be ruled by The Czech Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. The later is a continuation of the original Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, a Marxist-Leninist regime that existed between 1921 and 1992.

Since October, concerns about the Communist Party’s partial return to power have grown among the Czech public. On Nov. 17, web pages dedicated to the victims of the former communist regime of Czechoslovakia (www.viteznyunor.cz) published a petition calling for the ban of The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, and restrictions on communist parties entering into higher politics.

Within one month 50,000 Czechs joined the petition. The petition’s popularity has also revived a former proposal from the Czech Senate to ban communist ideology in general. Reasons for this include the claim that it promotes violent revolution and other allegedly immoral ways of seizing power.

This is the first time a communist party has participated in ruling the country since the fall of the notorious Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1989. Despite the Senate, the Parliament, and the central government remaining in the hands of right-wing parties, regional councils are now to be controlled by the social democrats and communists.

While the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia claims to have no relation to the previous totalitarian regime, it is often criticized for holding onto the same rigid communist ideology.

“The regional councils are now controlled by the same communist cadres who were ruling our country before 1989,” claim petition organizers.