Leading Czech politician slams Orbán over Kazakhstan comments, but refuses to criticize EU president for similar remarks

Riot police block a street to stop demonstrators during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Vladimir Tretyakov)
By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

Czech Chamber of Deputies Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová has stood by her decision to condemn Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for comments made on the civil unrest in Kazakhstan, despite refusing to criticize the President of the European Council Charles Michel for similar remarks.

In a social media post published on Monday, Pekarová accused the Hungarian prime minister of “de facto [supporting] the shooting of Kazakh citizens and the arrival of the Russian army,” a statement she stands by.

“Hungary does not equal Viktor Orbán, there are many citizens who have a problem with similar statements, and I do and always will support them,” Pekarová added in her Twitter rant against the Hungarian leader.

Her post was in response to a press statement by the Hungarian government following a phone call between Viktor Orbán and Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In it, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán assured the Kazakh president of Hungary’s solidarity with the victims of recent events in the country.

However, there was not a single word indicating that Viktor Orbán supported the violent behavior of the Kazakh regime, with critics accusing Pekarová, who is refusing to retract her statement, of political opportunism.

“Given that the repressive forces of the regime of President Tokayev, who explicitly ordered to shoot without warning into the demonstrators, are to blame for the vast majority of victims, I have no reason to change my original post,” the Chamber of Deputies speaker told Echo24 on Wednesday.

A similar statement to that of Orbán, expressing compassion after violent interventions by the Kazakh regime, was also voiced by the President of the European Council Charles Michel following a video conference call with Tokayev. Michel said after the virtual meeting that he “expressed his condolences for the loss of life.”

His statement was similar to that made by the head of the Hungarian government, but in the case of Charles Michel, Pekarová did not voice any criticism. Neither she nor her spokesperson responded to the question of whether, according to her, Charles Michel also supported the shooting of the Kazakhs and the arrival of the Russian army.

Civil unrest has plagued Kazakhstan in recent days, mainly due to the rising prices of LPG gas. Demonstrations met by a robust response from government forces have resulted in the deaths of at least 164 people.

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