A lower house seat won by the Civic Democrats in Central Bohemia was won by
Martin Kupka, not Petr Bendl as announced after last month’s general
elections. The discovery was made by the Supreme Administrative Court,
which carried out a recount of preferential votes in half of the region.
The finding does not alter the composition of the new Chamber of Deputies,
where the Civic Democrats are the second biggest party with 25 mandates.
The chairman of the Supreme Administrative Court panel, Tomáš Langášek, said on Sunday that both the Ministry of the Interior and legislators should respond to the shortcomings uncovered. Judge Langášek said if no changes were made the court might in future have to deal with more contested results, which would lead to paralysis.
The MEP Jiří Pospíšil says he will focus on preparing TOP 09 for local
and Senate elections, if he wins election as the party chairman in an
election next weekend. The grouping’s long-term leader Miroslav Kalousek
is stepping down after TOP 09 did poorly in elections last month.
Mr. Pospíšil is a former deputy chairman of another right-wing party, the Civic Democrats. He is as yet the only candidate for the top job in TOP 09.
Monika MacDonagh-Pajerová is a political activist and university lecturer. Back in 1989, she served as a press spokesperson for the student leaders protesting against the communist regime. Pajerová also helped to organise some of the now famous protests that led to the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. I joined her for an informal conversation about the subsequent mood in the country – and how for some, hope soon turned to cynicism. But I began by asking her to briefly describe her role in the events of November 1989:
The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, TOP 09 and the Mayors and
Independents have formed a group called Democratic Bloc with a view to
taking a common position when the first session of the new Chamber of
Deputies is held next Monday.
The parties said on Wednesday that they would not vote for ANO’s Radek Vondráček as speaker of the lower house and would demand two deputy speakers posts and the leadership of seven committees.
The Civic Democrats’ chairman Petr Fiala said he had planned to run for the post of speaker but that this was now pointless as ANO, the Communists, Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Pirates were going to back Mr. Vondráček.
TOP O9’s Miroslav Kalousek said it would now be clear who supported what he called the "project" of ANO chief Andrej Babiš and President Miloš Zeman. ANO won last month’s elections with almost 30 percent of the vote and are working on forming a minority government.
Efforts to win support for a minority government headed by ANO leader Andrej Babiš have cast doubt on the future of a hard-won settlement between the country’s 16 churches and the State. The ANO leader caused a stir this week when he expressed readiness to support the Communist Party’s demand for church restitutions to be taxed.
President Miloš Zeman has expressed support for the speaker of the lower
house Jan Hamáček to be deputy speaker in the new Chamber of Deputies. On
Monday, the head of state met with the politician as well and the acting
head of the Social Democratic Party Milan Chovanec.
The president was reportedly interested in the situation in the party following its poor showing in the recent election.
The president is gradually meeting with the leaders of all the parties which won seats. He has already met with representatives from the Pirate Party, Civic Democrats, Freedom and Direct Democracy, and the Communists.
The Christian Democrats have described a proposal by the Pirate party for
the opposition to head all of the parliamentary committees as
“inadequate”. The Pirates had suggested the move in return for possible
support for an ANO-led minority government. The proposal was also
criticized by ANO, led by Andrej Babiš. The Christian Democrats said the
opposition should also head the parliamentary commission overseeing the
secret service as a tool, party chairman Pavel Bělobrádek said, for
After the weekend, it remains unclear, some politicians suggested, who will be favourable to the emerging government and who will be against. Mr Babiš is trying to form a minority government with members of his party, ANO, as well as experts, who he hopes will find backing in the lower house.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Thursday demanded a recount of
preferential votes cast in the Central Bohemia region for the right of
centre Civic Democratic Party (ODS) following doubts whether they had been
counted properly in 915 districts.
The outcome could affect the election results in the region and the number of seats won by ODS. Talks have been called for November 19, a day before the new lower house of parliament is set to convene for the first time.
The Civic Democrats won four seats in the region, its best performance outside of the capital city, Prague.
Former Social Democrat prime minister and party chairman Jiří Paroubek
has suffered another setback in his bid to rejoin the party.
Paroubek’s hopes of rejoining the party were raised last week after Prague leaders recommended he be allowed to do so. But on Wednesday night a meeting of the local party in the Prague 5 region, where he used to be a member, rejected his readmission. The local party’s agreement is a must for his return.
Paroubek left the party in 2011 to found his own party, which failed to make any impact. The party leadership rejected a comeback in June but changed it’s mind after the electoral disaster in recent lower house elections where it lost around two thirds of its support.
All parties in the lower house should be represented on important
committees and commissions, while the opposition ought to head the
committee overseeing the security services, a number of groupings agreed on
Wednesday. Representatives of the Civic Democrats, TOP 09, the Mayors and
Independents and the Czech Pirate Party said they had reached accord on
those demands following a meeting convened by Pirates’ leader Ivan
However, Jaroslav Faltýnek of election winners ANO said the division of places on Chamber of Deputies committees was based on the rules of the lower house.
Meanwhile other post-election talks continued on Wednesday. The Czech News Agency reported that ANO want to appoint Tomáš Hüner as minister of industry and trade in a minority government being assembled by party leader Andrej Babiš.
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