An estimated quarter of a million Czech citizens gathered in the capital, Prague, on June 23rd to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babis’, the largest protest of its kind since the velvet revolution that overthrew communism in 1989, Reuters has reported.
The rally at Letna Park was the culmination of a series of demonstrations over the past weeks against Babis, who is facing investigations into allegations of embezzlement and conflict of interest that are all strongly denied.
Organisers of the protest on June 23rd estimated the number of participants at about 250,000. T-Mobile said its network analysis estimated the number of participants to be over 258,000. A police spokesman declined to announce the police's assessment of the number of participants.
Protesters held banners reading, "Leave," and "We will not give up democracy," while others raised the flag of the Czech Republic and the European Union. Many attended the protest along with their children, which was as peaceful as the recent protests against Babis and the justice minister.
Babis said people had the right to protest but he refused to step down. His party remains the most popular in the Czech Republic although its approval ratings have dropped slightly to 27.5% in the past two months, according to a survey published by the Kantar agency on June 9th.
Babis also has enough support in parliament, where a no-confidence vote, expected from his cabinet, is scheduled for June 26th.
The Czech Republic has a population of 10.7 million.