Prague – According to political scientists, the anti-government demonstration in Prague on Saturday was not only attended by pro-Russian extremists, as pointed out by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), but also by people who wanted to express dissatisfaction with the government’s progress in solving the energy crisis. Political scientist Lubomír Kopeček from Masaryk University in Brno told ČTK today that the governing parties may pay for this dissatisfaction during the municipal elections, which will be a test of confidence in Fial’s cabinet, especially in large cities.
“There were people on stage who are really connected to very strong pro-Russian attitudes, and the words of Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) about being close to extremism reflect reality,” said Kopeček. On the other hand, the 70,000 participants in the demonstration reflect “a lot of dissatisfaction” with the government’s position in solving the energy crisis. According to the political scientist, the upcoming local elections, especially in big cities, will therefore be a test of trust in the government, because trends in big cities pretty much copy national politics. The ruling parties can pay for dissatisfaction by having their voters either not come to vote or vote for someone else.
Saturday’s demonstration is being talked about as a protest against Fial’s government, but some of those present were protesting against the pillars of the current democratic system and Western alliances, political scientist Jiří Pehe said on Twitter. According to him, a distinction must be made, as anti-systemic extremism is not the same as disagreement with government policy.
According to Miloš Gregor from the Department of Political Science at Masaryk University, Fial’s statement that the demonstration was called by pro-Russian forces is completely legitimate and factually correct. Some of them were also among the protesters. “I don’t dare to estimate how big a part, but it’s not just some small group,” Gregor said
. But it would not be fair to say that only like-minded people gathered at the demonstration. There were desperate and unhappy people who wanted to express their displeasure, Gregor said.
Fialův výrok, že dnešní demonstraci svolaly proruské síly, je naprosto legitimní a fakticky správný. Od komunistů po nácky je to pojí všechny.— Miloš Gregor - #FCKPTN (@anselmoCZ) September 3, 2022
Není fér tvrdit, že se tam sešli jen takto smýšlející lidé. Jsou tam i lidé, kteří jsou zoufalí, nešťastní, bez afiliace k Putinovi. 1/6
The group of people who are labeled as “pro-Russian” is much more varied and this assessment does not always fit them, he said on
Jan Charvát from the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Masaryk University. According to the political scientist and former vice-chairman of the Greens, Petr Kutílek, the demonstration was mainly attended by people who are subject to misinformation and who feel economically threatened.
Snažím se upozorňovat na to, že skupina lidí, která je označovaná jako "proruská" je mnohem pestřešjí a toto hodnocení na ni vždy nesedí.— Jan Charvát (@Jan_Charvatj) September 4, 2022
To ale neznamená, že by tu reálně proruské skupiny neexistovaly, stejně jako to neznamná, že by u nás neprobíhaly ruské vlivové operace. https://t.co/imqr0v2C3h
government demonstration political scientists