Democracy according to Richter: the place of citizens extras
The Mayor of Prague 10, Milan Richter (ODS), has a very special idea of the principles of representative democracy. this last meeting of the Prague 10 City Council, which took place on Monday, February 4. Already half an hour before the start of the meeting, seats for citizens of more than thirty “spectators” sat as a reference to safety and hygiene regulations, and the town hall officials did not let other citizens into the hall. The reporter of the E15.cz server was there.
“Regular visitors from a number of civic initiatives, including many elderly people, remained standing in the corridor and some were not allowed to leave – apparently due to a mistake in the town hall’s registration process,” says Renata Chmelová of the Trojmezí civic association.
From kickboxing to council
According to the citizens, who eventually watched the proceedings on a hard-to-hear monitor in the hallway in front of the hall, the role of “spectators” was mixed – they were not interested in the points discussed at all, but applauded even harder after Mayor Richter’s speech. “It was really nice to hear from people who seemed to come to the meeting between the kickboxing training and sitting in the game room, such a big applause, for example, when the announcement that there will be new kindergartens in Prague 10,” writes Oculus publicus on Facebook. The big eye sees them, which aims to follow the picture and monitor what is happening at the Prague embassies. (Look at in the photo from the meeting in Prague 10.)
Doubts about the real reasons for the participation of the people who filled all the vacancies in the hall were also aroused by the fact that they answered the questions of the citizens and members of the civic associations who remained in the corridor very strangely. When asked why they came, the “kickboxers” answered “I don’t know” and when asked from which part of Prague 10 they are with the words “I live with a friend.”
Applause to order
Only two of the approximately thirty citizens who arrived half an hour in advance disembarked. In both cases, they were members of the ODS – lawyer Aleš Choděr and Jan Hana, who is a former representative of Prague 10. The seated citizens present applauded only after their speeches and some contributions from the mayor Milan Richter.
“Unfortunately, the course of the council and the participation of citizens in it were disrupted by an obvious obstruction, when the meeting room was filled in advance and organized by the ordered extra. It was impossible not to notice how extras are organized by people who often have informal conversations with some representatives and even representatives of officials during negotiations. Regardless of who and why prepared this whole, sometimes scary theater, it is necessary to say that this is a completely unacceptable insurance of citizens, voters and taxpayers, “said Martin Moravec, a Malešic citizen and also the coordinator, present at the council. Association Together for the Ten.
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It is the activity of this common platform, which has recently been set up in the 10th district, that seems to be a cause for concern and that it can be speculated that the people who took their seats prevented them from performing. “Some people standing in the hallway just didn’t get the word out. However, the official went to remind the president of the registered citizens, “says Olga Richterová, chairwoman of the Focus on the Ten association.
City Hall spokesman Jan Charvát, who had a very lively discussion on the social network Facebook with concerned citizens, refused the E15.cz server to answer the question why the town hall management did not move the representatives to larger rooms. The reason is the alleged bias and tendency of the author in reporting on what is happening in the city district of Prague 10. The City Hall has not communicated with other media for a long time, such as the Czech Position server.
What happened on Prague 10 on Monday is known to Praguers in other parts of Prague as well. For example, in Prague 11 there were no vacancies when the council was deciding who and why ordered the monitoring of local politicians by the ABL security agency. “At that time, the meeting was secured from the back by a large group of young mayor’s supporters armed with vuvuzelas and banners. It was not an agitated public, it was a youth led by the son of the deputy mayor and councilor Jan Meixner, “says representative Petr Lukeš from the opposition Movement for Prague 11.
They also have experience with obstruction in Prague 7, where a meeting on the new town hall building took place the year before last. “At that time, the mayor ordered the officials to attend the meeting because they were affected, so they filled the vacancies,” says local activist Jan Čižinský, who considers it a bigger problem in his home district that citizens’ interpellations are included at the end. negotiations. “At the December meeting, the last interpellation did not reach 5.15 am the next day, when the vast majority of participants had already left,” adds Čižinský.