Politician Withdraws Candidacy Over Anti-Semitic Video
A Czech politician has given up his candidacy to the European Parliament, after a video showed him singing Nazi songs and making anti-Semitic comments.
Milan Zavada, a young politician from the liberal party ANO who was nominated by his party for the European Parliament elections, was forced to give up his candidacy after a video emerged on Youtube, showing Zavada, 23, singing Nazi songs and making anti-Semitic comments during a party several years ago. Zavada, who appeared to be drunk during the party, was also filmed urinating in the center of the room where the party was held.
In an interview with the Czech station TV Barrandov, which broadcast the video showing the young politician using Nazi and anti-Semitic slogans, Zavada labelled his behavior as typical "mischief." He argued that he had already paid the price for his behavior after volunteering for several years in hospitals and charities.
Zavada also denied holding any Nazi or anti-Semitic views.
“I was just a normal teenager who grew up at a time when everyone had a mobile phone with a camera, so someone filmed me saying these things during the party," he claimed. "I then volunteered many years in hospitals and charities, so I feel that my conscience is completely clean on this issue.”
The former political front-runner also claimed that the video appeared on Youtube as the result of a revenge ploy by his ex-girlfriend after the couple broke up.
"It was not an attempt to discredit me politically, but based on a personal conflict," he said.
Shortly after the video appeared, ANO's leaders demanded Zavada withdraw from the party’s list of candidates to the European Parliament. He was due to run in the late May elections.
“We learned about the video during the weekend and we agreed that he would resign," ANO spokeswoman Lucie Kubovicova stated. "He accepted it and said that he regretted it and that he had not intended to harm the movement.”