Prague, Czech Republic – Dominik Feri, an MP for the opposition TOP 09 party, has resigned his mandate on Tuesday hours after being accused of sexual abuse and misconduct by several women.
In an investigation published on Tuesday by Denik N and Alarm, several women accused M. Feri, the youngest lawmaker ever elected to Parliament, of inappropriate sexual behaviour and of forcing them to have sex against their will.
In a statement, the TOP 09 MP conceded his behaviour may have sometimes been inappropriate but refuted allegations of rape.
He nevertheless said he was resigning from his seat in Parliament immediately and would not run in the upcoming elections in October.
“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.
TOP 09 chairwoman Marketa Pekarova Adamova indicated she was confident that M. Feri’s name will be cleared, and thanked him for “his decision to resign and not run in the forthcoming elections.” A number of other politicians from TOP 09 and coalition partners ODS also praised his decision to step down immediately.
A slightly different – and harsher – tune could be heard coming from cabinet members, including Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek who, while conceding that he did not know “whether or not Dominik Feri broke the law”, said that as the father of a young girl, he hoped “that she will not meet anyone like Feri at a party when she grows up.”
24-year-old Dominik 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.
Police are now investigating the sexual allegations made against M. Feri, with the matter expected to head to court in the coming months.