Havel calls on Czechs to support Green Party in elections
6 September 2009
CTK Daily News
Prague, Sept 6 (CTK) – Former Czech President Vaclav Havel has called on voters to support the Green Party (SZ) in the upcoming general election, in a letter that well-known sociologist Jirina Siklova read at the ceremonial launch of the Greens’ election campaign today.
“If we don’t want our pond to contain only two fat catfish forever, we must place a pike in it. In addition, catfish usually only think about ways to survive the next fishing out, they refuse to think farther forwards. But we don’t want our country to turn, in 30 years, into an industrial desert that, in spite of securing growth, would irradiate a single thing – total despair. In other words: let’s vote for the Greens,” Havel writes in the letter.
The catfish in his letter is an evident allusion to the two strongest parties, the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Social Democrats (CSSD).
Apart from the Greens chairman, Ondrej Liska, today’s launch of the campaign was attended by the party’s former chairman Martin Bursik, art collector Meda Mladkova, writer Ivan Klima and also Daniel Cohn-Bendit, head of the Green faction in the EP, who is a long-standing critic of Vaclav Klaus, the current Czech president staunchly opposed to the Greens.
Havel, the first post-1989 president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, has been openly supporting the Greens for several years.
In late August Liska said Havel will shoot a spot for the party focusing on the change of climate in Czech society. The Greens are going to place it on their YouTube channel and they might use it in their campaign on television as well.
The Greens managed to enter the Czech lower house in the 2006 elections for the first time in history. However, their latest voter preferences, deep under the 5-percent parliament entry threshold, indicate that they are unlikely to repeat the success in the forthcoming early elections.