Miroslav Sládek

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Miroslav Sládek
Miroslav Sladek na demonstraci na Namesti Svobody v Brne (cropped).jpg
Leader of the Republican Party of Czechoslovakia (2016)
Assumed office
18 June 2016
Preceded by Position Re-established
Leader of the Republican Party of Czechoslovakia (1990)
In office
24 February 1990 – 16 February 2001
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Position Abolished
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
1 June 1996 – 19 June 1998
Member of the Federal Assembly
In office
1 June 1992 – 31 December 1992
Mayor of Brno-Útěchov
In office
May 2003 – May 2004
Preceded by Jaromír Sáňka
Succeeded by Zdeněk Drahoš
Personal details
Born (1950-10-24) 24 October 1950 (age 66)
Hradec Králové, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Political party Coalition for Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia (1990-2001)
(2016-)
Spouse(s) Laura Sládková
Alma mater Charles University
Religion Roman Catholicism

Miroslav Sládek (October 24, 1950 in Hradec Králové) is a Czech right-wing populist politician, founder and chairman of the Coalition for Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia. His party was disbanded in 2001, but it was re-established in 2016.

Early years[edit]

Sládek grew up in the town Kostelec nad Orlicí. He studied at the Charles University in Prague, specializing in information and library systems. Before the fall of Communism in 1989 he worked at the Czech Office for Press and Information.

Sládek is a Roman Catholic. He is currently married to Laura Sládková, who has also been involved in leadership positions in the Coalition for Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia.

Republican party[edit]

In 1990 Sládek founded a new political party, Sdružení pro republiku - Republikánska strana Československa, SPR-RSČ (Coalition for Republic - Republican Party of Czechoslovakia). The name referred to the powerful pre-war Agrarian Party (officially named Republican party) and probably to other parties in other countries. Sládek became party chairman in 1990 (and was elected again in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1998).

Sládek was the symbol and the most active member of the party visiting several towns or villages per day with political speeches. A poster with his photo was printed in huge quantities and used, without any change, during several elections. He had made all the major decisions, set the politics of the party and expelled those not loyal enough to the leader.

SPR-RSČ was a populistic protest party. The programme pointed to real problems as massive corruption during voucher privatisation or high criminality among Roma (Gypsies) and promised to solve them with an "iron fist". The party used the resentments and fear of Sudeten Germans, expelled in 1945, and painted itself as the only protector of the nation. Stopping the immigration, support of death penalty and aversion to the EU were other points of the programme.

In Czechoslovak parliamentary election, 1992 the party managed to obtain several seats; in June 1992 Sládek became a member of Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia, until the end of 1992 when Czechoslovakia and the federal parliament were dissolved.

Publications[edit]

From 1990 to 1995 Sládek was editor-in-chief of the party weekly Republika. Editors of the weekly were several times charged with attempt to incite violence and hatred.

Between 1992 and 1998 Sládek published collections of his speeches in five books. These books are now freely available online.

Election success[edit]

The populist and negative campaigning paid off: during Czech legislative election, 1996 SPR-RSČ obtained 8% of votes and 18 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The party was, however, ignored by other politicians and was unable to carry out its promises. Instead, it often turned to the obstruction of legislative process.

The media in the Czech Republic were focused against the party. The pressure, dictatorial manners of Sládek and several scandals pushed many party members, including some of those elected into the parliament, out of SPR-RSČ. Several "truly republican" parties emerged and quickly disappeared.

Candidate for president[edit]

During the presidential elections (by the parliament) in 1992, 1993 and 1998 Sládek was one of candidates, receiving a marginal number of votes. A few days before the 1998 election Sládek got arrested and stayed in prison during the voting. His missing vote allowed the re-election of Václav Havel (who obtained just the necessary number of votes).

Decline[edit]

The inability of SPR-RSČ to change anything on the political scene, the internal problems of the party and the populistic campaign of Miloš Zeman, leader of social democracy, turned voters away from the party. In the Czech legislative election, 1998 it obtained 3.9% of votes and no parliament seats.

The decline of the party accelerated and in 2001 it was forcefully dissolved due to financial irregularities. Sládek established a successor party Republikáni Miroslava Sládka (The Republicans of Miroslav Sládek) [1] but failed to attract a significant number of voters.

In 2002 Sládek was elected into the municipal government of Útěchov, a district of Brno. After conflict with the mayor he took over the position, until 2004.

In 2006 he was sentenced to a fine because of the debt accumulated by SPR-RSČ and is forbidden to run for leadership of any political party for three years. He still believes in chance to return into high level politics, though [2].

In one interview Sládek told that while he personally failed the whole political scene became "Sládek-like" in the meantime.