Zelezny asked to party

Czech Independent Democrats looks for financial-savvy head

Vladimir Zelezny, the man who hijacked the Czech Republic’s leading private television station, TV Nova, in the mid-’90s, is still a folk hero to some. Zelezny cost the country $355 million in damages for failing to protect the rights of CME, which founded Nova in the early 1990s but had to stand by and watch Zelezny, who held the broadcast rights, shut it out in 1999. CME, controlled by cosmetics baron Ronald Lauder, retook TV Nova in December.

None of that bothers Petr Hudik, though. The mayor of a small district in Brno, the capital of this country’s eastern province of Moravia, wants to found a political party with Zelezny as head.

Zelezny, now a European Parliament member, has never met Hudik.

“Am I supposed to accept the chairmanship of a party when I know nothing about it?” Zelezny asks.

Hudik says he’s gathered 3,000 signatures, three times the number needed to found his Independent Democrats Party. He wants Zelezny at the top, because, Hudik says, “at least he knows finances.”

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