Illustrative photo – President of the Republic Miloš Zeman (center) commemorated the events of November 17, 1939 and 1989 in Prague's Albertov. At the same time, a demonstration was held there in support of him, which was also attended by the Blok proti Islam organization.
Bratislava – Miloš Zeman left a significant mark on the political development of the Czech Republic. But his legacy is controversial and as a politician he divided society. Grigorij Mesežnikov, president of the Bratislava Institute for Public Issues (IVO), told ČTK today when evaluating the long-term political career of Miloš Zeman, who will be replaced in the office of president on Thursday by Petr Pavel.
“He was an effective leader of social democracy. But everywhere he stubbornly asserted his views. His presidential mandate was marked by stains. One stain is his pro-Russian and pro-Chinese position. It did not reach a shameful form because he changed his position after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which as far as Russia is concerned,” said Mesezhnikov. On the contrary, he appreciated Zeman's pro-Israeli views, which he said were not popular.
The president of the non-governmental IVO said that in Czech domestic politics, Zeman manifested himself as a radical populist who did not shy away from unfairly targeting his opponents. He compared Zeman's long-term work in high politics to his former political rival Václav Klaus. He stated that Zeman left a significant mark on the development of the party system in the Czech Republic, influenced parliamentarism and the government in his other constitutional functions, and intervened most significantly in politics from the position of president, to which he was first elected in 2013.
For problematic the point of Zeman's legacy in politics, Mesezhnikov also marked the fact that he divided society. “He promoted personal ideas in a way that divides the political scene and society in particular. His attacks on opponents or the media did not steel society, but rather the opposite,” said Mesežnikov.
According to him, from a Slovak point of view, the fact that Zemanov it depended on good Czech-Slovak relations.