Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Mach to seek re-election as Free Citizens' Party head

ČTK |
13 November 2017

Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) - Petr Mach, until recently a Czech MEP who resigned as head of the extra-parliamentary Free Citizens' Party after its failure in the October election, will seek the post again in the party's internal online vote due on November 12-18, his spokeswoman Katerina Kasparova told CTK on Friday.

In the October 20-21 general election, the Free Citizens gained 1.56 percent of the vote, ending tenth and the strongest of the parties that finished below the 5-percent parliament threshold.

Mach recently said he has received hundreds of e-mails and messages calling on him to keep his post of the party chairman.

"Although I previously said I was unlikely to seek re-election, I have complied with the requests and used the last day before the deadline to apply for chairmanship and let the rank-and-file decide on whether I can still benefit the party as its head," Mach said.

He said he wants to lead the Free Citizens as a liberal and conservative party.

"My respect for freedom makes me reject high taxes, privileges, subsidies and excessive regulations," he wrote, adding that he can see no place in the party for "perverse opinion streams" such as positive discrimination or racism.

He wants to support the party's cooperation with partners who are politically close to it.

The election gain of more than 1.5 percent makes the Free Citizens' further eligible for state subsidies.

In the previous election in 2013, the party gained 2.46 percent of the vote.

Mach has been heading the party since its establishment in 2009. He was re-elected the party head in January last time.

In June 2014, he was elected a MEP. He left the post this summer in order to fully focus on the Free Citizens' campaign ahead of the general election.

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