Saturday, 17 February 2018

KDU, TOP 09 talk about cooperation in local, Senate election

ČTK |
12 February 2018

Prague, Feb 9 (CTK) - The Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and TOP 09 are negotiating about possible cooperation before the autumn local and Senate elections, TOP 09 chairman Jiri Pospisil said on Friday, adding that cooperation with the Mayors and Independents (STAN) might also be successful.

The centre-right TOP 09 and the centrist STAN only narrowly entered the lower house of parliament last autumn. In the 2010 and 2013 elections the two parties had run together. Last year, the STAN and the centrist KDU-CSL made an election pact, but they eventually withdrew from it and ran separately.

At present, the KDU-CSL has 10 MPs, TOP 09 has seven MPs and the STAN six. They are the three smallest parties in the 200-seat lower house.

The Christian Democrats and TOP 09 on Friday mostly talked about their cooperation in the lower house.

KDU-CSL deputy chairman Jan Bartosek said cooperation would mainly concern wards and municipalities with strong personalities.

Pospisil said he expected progress to be made in this cooperation by April.

The local elections will be held in September or early October and the elections to one third of the Senate are likely to be organised in mid or late October.

The deadline for President Milos Zeman to declare the election date is July.

Failed presidential candidate Marek Hilser will run for senator in Prague, Masaryk University rector Mikulas Bek in Brno.

KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek wants to run for the upper house, too. If he succeeded, he would have to give up his seat in the lower house.

The democratic parties previously said they consider the Senate a safeguard that can prevent unwise changes to the constitution, including a referendum on the country's departure from the European Union, in a situation where the ANO movement of Andrej Babis won lower house votes thanks to cooperation with the far-right populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communists (KSCM) and President Milos Zeman did not go against the extremist tendencies.

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