Prague – negotiations on the municipal coalition reach the final stage: The program and composition of the council are being decided
Within unprecedentedly aggressive election campaigns, which accompanied the municipal elections in autumn 2022, were not the first. In football terminology, politicians from Prague did the eventual kicking to themselves. In June of last year, it bothered them that Pospíšil’s long-time adviser Jiří Fremr was supposed to appear on the recordings with the dubious businessman Michal Redl, because of which the explosive Dozimetr case broke out.
“I consider it important that the persons who the case directly or indirectly affects, inferred liability. They expose the city to a situation that will be difficult to explain not only domestically, but also towards European institutions,” he stated then to journalists serving deputy mayor Pavel Vyhnánek (Prague sebo). After Pospíšil’s end due to the fact that he knew someone who probably should have known Fremr, even the chairman of Prague called himself Jan Čižinský. Similar rhetoric was adopted by the Pirates during the election campaign.
“Mr. Pospíšil is on the SPOLU candidate list, which is even number two on the candidate list. His right-hand man, Mr. Fremr, colluded with other criminal defendants here. They sang to each other how they were going to rob Prague. This is something where it will be quite difficult to form a coalition here after the elections, because I reject this,” thundered outgoing mayor Zdeněk Hřib (i) at pre-election debate in Blesk. He resorted to similar arguments during debates in other media, despite the fact that Jiří Fremr was neither accused nor among the suspects.
At the turn of January and February 2023, as if the tables were turned. According to Blesk sources, the chairman of Prague’s TOP 09 could sit on the board of the main gesture together with the coalition Pirates. In addition to culture, the well-known fighter for animal rights should also be responsible for the well-being of animals living on the territory of the capital, which is an area of competence that has not yet been represented.
Prague politicians from the ANO movement are now noticing the previous jealousy. “Before the elections, the pirates wanted Jiří Pospíšil to resign, and he was an ordinary representative. Now he is even supposed to sit in the City Council,” wondered the number one ANO candidate Patrik Nacher via Twitter.
“After the elections, things are fine even though he is even heading to the City Council,” he continued. Ondřej Prokop, the chairman of Prague’s ANO, also weighed in on this on Twitter. “I’m seriously curious how the Pirates in the new city council deal with, for example, Jiří Pospíšil, who was called to resign because of the Dozimetr case..”
Continuation of the constituent meeting of the Prague council. The representatives of the Pirates defined themselves against the cooperation of SPOLU and ANO through banners. In the photo, ANO politicians Ondřej Prokop and Patrik Nacher. (December 15, 2022)
Author: David Zima
The trust of citizens and Pirates
According to the statement of the serving mayor, Zdenek Hřiba, who, according to media speculation, was also used in the capital city council as deputy mayor in charge of transport, in which Pospíšila is not a problem. In an interview with Deník N, he stated that Pospíšil gained the trust of the citizens. At the same time, the serving mayor did not even question that Svoboda, whom he had previously criticized, was not entitled to become mayor when the candidate who was the leader won the election.””
The MEP himself, who is the chairman of the board of directors of the Jan and Meda Mládkov Foundation, which runs the well-known Museum Kampa, provided that no post-election delays regarding his person took place as part of the coalition negotiations. “During the entire negotiation, which has been going on for several months, I am ahe never once recorded any objections to his person – whether from the Pirates or the STAN movement,” he told Blesk.
“None of the former or current members of TOP 09 are accused or suspected in the Dosimeter case. This is significant,” he added, adding that the same applies to his former advisor Fremro, with whom Pospíšil, according to his words, has definitively broken off cooperation. “I don’t hang out with him and I don’t communicate with him. But it should be added that his failure is ethical, not criminal law,” he pointed out.
Disappointment of opposition politicians
That is why he does not understand the outbursts of ANO opposition representatives, all the more so when ANO also criticizes the current situation – i.e. that Prague is currently without leadership. “I personally regret it, because at the municipal level I think we are already an opposition or a coalition, we could work together for the sake of Prague and not attack each other“, he continued.
“I don’t know why the representatives for ANO are doing this. So you can present some form of disappointment at being left in opposition,” he surmised. During the post-election negotiations for a new coalition, there was an option that it would the new mayor, who will most likely be Bohuslav Svobodahe was also elected by YES votes, which in such a constellation could have certain leverage on the leadership of the municipality. However, this plan failed.
Only 14 days until the formation of the coalition?
And how does the situation look today, two weeks until the next council meeting? Pirates and STAN in Prague are finalizing an agreement on a municipal coalition, at the weekend they want to start with the internal party approval of the coalition contracts and program. Party representatives told reporters on Thursday after the start of the coalition meeting.
Politicians said that they wanted to resolve all issues at Thursday’s meeting and come up with final documents, which are needed by the individual parties to approve the agreement. The internal party process at the Pirates is the longest, because it includes voting by the membership and takes seven days with discussion. According to Pirates negotiator Jana Komrsková, this process should start at the weekend, Together and STAN want to agree to approve next week.
The Spolu coalition also told the partners, the way he plans to divide the five seats in the council between ODS, TOP 09 and KDU-ČSL. The head of representatives of Spolu Zdeněk Zajíček (ODS) has not yet disclosed details, saying that the agreement still needs to be finally approved. “We won’t name any names at this time, but we have an agreement that will be fulfilled,” he said. The other parties have not yet announced the planned staffing of the councils. However, it is very similar, except for the aforementioned Svoboda, Hřib or Pospíšil Petr Hlaváček (STAN) remains in the role of square or councilor with responsibility for territorial development.
As far as the program is concerned, according to the politicians, there is more or less in place conformity, but it is needed finalize the document in terms of formality and style. “In terms of goals, I think we have found intersections and agreement, now we are really just fine-tuning the formula,” said Zajíček.
Distribution of seats
The agreement envisages that Spolu will be responsible for finance and budget, social affairs, housing and healthcare, culture and tourism, and infrastructure. Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) should then be in charge of security, foreign relations and energy. The areas of IT and innovation, the environment, property and transport will fall to the pirates. STAN will have councilor for territorial development and education and sports. Zajíček added that they will continue such negotiations with ANO and Praha Sobě regarding the filling of representative committees.
Hřib and Bendy’s arguments in Blesk: How did the outgoing mayor handle Prague and who will lead it next? Pavlína Horáková, Lukáš Červený
The building of the Prague municipality. (June 15, 2022)
Author: Blesk:David Malík