Czech president criticised for supporting extremist candidate

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has been criticised from various sides for endorsing the appointment of a radical right-wing candidate to a high government post.

It was revealed yesterday that Klaus had tipped Ladislav Bátora for the post of deputy minister of education. Media and politicians of the opposition heavily criticised the president’s decision because Bátora had previously run for office from the lists of the radical-nationalist party ‘Národní Strana’. Like president Klaus, Bátora is a declared opponent of further European integration but has also made himself heard of through his strict opposition to feminism, anti-discrimination policies and the ecumenical movement.

In response to the criticism, Klaus declared that he did not know Bátora personally but had read his biography and saw him as a genuine conservative with whose positions he could identify himself. Moreover, Klaus stated that the wave of criticism was only another sign of the ‘dictatorship of political correctness’.

The possible appointment of Bátora to a post in the ministry of education is furthermore controversial because he is involved in the D.O.S.T. movement which – amongst others – strictly opposes sex education in schools.

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