At the end of May, the former leader of the TOP 09 party Karel Schwarzenberg defended MP Dominik Feri, who has resigned in May following accusations by several women of inappropriate sexual behavior.
“What is sexual harassment? That a 25-year-old guy was trying to get a girl to bed? Vice versa was always considered normal. So please, don’t be hypocrites,” Schwarzenberg said to Lidovky.
“It is strange that this story emerged right before the elections,” he added.
Mr. Zeman said he had the same view of the matter as ex-TOP 09 leader Karel Schwarzenberg, who said it had always been considered normal for a 25-year-old man to try to get girls into bed.
Today, Mr. Zeman said to iDNes that he had the same view of the matter as Karel Schwarzenberg: “I may surprise you, but I also consider this nonsense. Although I differed many times with Schwarzenberg in my views, I have to admit that my idea to this alleged sex scandal is very close to his.”.
Feri had previously denied allegations of sexual violence. He will contest the accusations in court.
Some women claim that he had sex with them, even though they explicitly refused. Others said that he tried to obtain their intimate photos or publicly shame them.
Feri vacated his seat in the lower house and would not run in October’s general elections so as to protect his party’s interests.
“I have always wanted a different kind of politics based on personal responsibility,” he said in a statement sent to the Czech News Agency (CTK). “I do not want false and manipulative articles in the media to harm my colleagues,” he added to explain his decision not to run.
Feri became in 2017 the youngest MP and the first black lawmaker to sit in Czech Parliament. Selected in 2018 by the Politico website as one of the 28 people shaping Europe, he was seen by some as one of the promising voices of a new generation of Czech politicians.
His popularity, particularly among young Czechs who do not follow politics through the traditional media channels, was intimately linked to his “choco_afro” Instagram page, which boasts over 1 million followers.