Around half of the 216,000 people standing in municipal elections around
the Czech Republic in October did not stand four years ago, Czech
Television reported. Data from the Czech Statistics Office shows that a
large number of candidates who ran on the tickets of political parties last
time out have chosen to instead stand as independents, the station said.
However, parties have also managed to attract people who didn’t run at all in 2014, with the highest numbers joining the candidate lists of ANO, Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Czech Pirate Party.
Government leaders ANO would have won elections last month on 28 percent of
the vote, suggests an opinion poll carried out by the Kantar TNS agency for
Czech Television. That figure is less than two points below what the party
received in October’s elections.
The Czech Pirate Party, who got under 11 percent in October would now receive 15 percent, the survey indicates. Thirteen percent of respondents in the poll said they would vote for the Civic Democrats.
The Communists and Freedom and Direct Democracy would receive 8 percent of the vote, the poll suggests, while the Social Democrats and the Mayors and Independents would get 6.5 percent, the Christian Democrats would get 5.5 percent and TOP 09 5 percent.
The Social Democrats say they are aiming to at least equal the 7-percent
showing the party achieved in the last general elections in upcoming
municipal elections, Novinky.cz reported. Previously one of the country’s
dominant parties, the Social Democrats are now aiming to hold on to one or
two of the 13 Senate seats they will also be trying to defend this October,
the news site said. After the last Senate elections that grouping had 25
Chairman Jan Hamáček said the Social Democrats had to take cognisance of the fact the party did not have 20 or 30 percent support but hovered around the 10 percent mark. He said a marked change could not be expected in the autumn.
If parliamentary elections were held now, the ANO movement of Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš would still come out on top, according to a new poll
by the STEM agency. The June poll shows ANO winning 32 per cent of the
vote, down just shy of a percentage point (pp) since April.
The upstart Pirates have lost the most ground in the past two months, over 3pp, and would now win only 10.2 per cent of the vote. Another opposition party, the Civic Democrats, are up 1.8pp since the last STEM survey, with the centre-right party now polling at 15.5 per cent.
Support for ANO’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, is up nearly 1pp, according to STEM, with the centre-left party now polling at 7.9 per cent. The Communists, whose support Mr. Babiš needs to survive a confidence vote set for July 11, are polling at 9.1 per cent, up half a percentage point since April.
The Interior Ministry this week issued its annual report on extremism, in which it says that ultra-right groupings are no longer politically relevant and their agenda has been adopted by the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD), which however cannot be defined as “extremist”. I spoke to extremism expert Miroslav Mareš, about the gradual seeping of in tolerance into mainstream political parties and why it is that the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party cannot be defined as extremist.
Tomáš Vymazal used the power in the apartment he receives as a Pirate
Party MP to generate cryptocurrency, the news site Aktualne.cz reported.
Mr. Vymazal’s activities were given away by a major rise in electricity
consumption at the flat. The lower house deputy, who is 28, said his
powerful computers had helped to heat up the cold property on Nerudova St.
However, Mr. Vymazal also apologised and promised to give the money he had earned from generating the cryptocurrency Zcash to charity.
A minority coalition of Andrej Babiš’s ANO and the Social Democrats, backed by the Communists on key votes, appears likely. However, ANO have just rejected a Communist bill allowing referendums on leaving the EU and NATO and also disregarded their wishes on expelling Russian diplomats and extraditing a Russian alleged hacker. So why are the Communists evidently ready to play ball with ANO? That’s a question I put to political scientist Jiří Pehe.
The Social Democratic Party elected Jan Hamáček, deputy chairman of the lower house, as the party’s new leader on Sunday, entrusting him with the task of entering into negotiations on a possible coalition government with Andrej Babiš’ ANO party. The move may bring a breakthrough in the stalled government talks.
The former leading Czech government party, the Social Democrats, faces a crunch meeting over the weekend to choose a new leadership and try and patch the party up after disastrous election results last October. Key issues will be whether to go into government with ANO’s Andrej Babiš and what approach to take with the recently re-elected Czech president.