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Leadership confirms Stuchlík as ANO leader in Prague local polls

23 July 2018

Prague, July 10 (CTK) - The leadership of the Czech government ANO party has confirmed entrepreneur Petr Stuchlik as ANO's number one candidate in the autumn local elections in Prague in an online vote, while Patrik Nacher, previously chosen for election leader in an internal referendum, will be the number two.

The list of candidates was released by Vladimir Vorechovsky, from ANO's press department, on Saturday.

The number three candidate in Prague, where ANO is defending the post of mayor in the October 5-6 local elections, is former finance minister Ivan Pilny.

Nacher was previously chosen as leader in a referendum by the rank-and-file of ANO's Prague branch. However, the ANO statutes enable the party leadership to change the lists of candidates.

Nacher has been a member of the Prague City Assembly since 2014 and he was also elected a lower house deputy in the general election last autumn.

"The ANO board previously expressed its wish [for the party] to head for the upcoming elections with a new team of people. The national committee's voting has supported this," Jan Ricar, head of the ANO Prague branch, said in reaction to the vote's outcome.

As a result, ANO's present Prague councillors figure in the bottom positions of the list of candidates and some do not figure on it at all, such as Karel Grabein Prochazka, the current Prague councillor in charge of property affairs.

ANO's fielding of a candidate for mayor was also complicated in Prague before the previous local elections four years ago. Originally, the number one candidate was to be former mayor Jan Kasl. Another variant was entrepreneur Martina Schopperova, but finally the election leader was Adriana Krnacova, who became Prague mayor after ANO's victory, but who is not seeking re-election now.

ANO has comfortably led Czech party popularity polls for a long time.

Stuchlik, 41, founded Fincentrum, a financial consulting company, in 2000. In the following year, he sold a website to the Mafra media group, whose new e-media trade department he led in 2002-2006, parallelly continuing to deal with financial consulting services.

Born in Zlin, south Moravia, he graduated from the Prague School of Economics in 2001, studied marketing at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and recently completed his studies of OPM management at the Harvard Business School, the USA.

Before founding Fincentrum, he worked with various firms at home and abroad. He and his trade partner sold a majority of Fincentrum to ARX Equity Partners and Capital Dynamics investment funds, but kept a minority stake together with the firm's management.

In January 2014, Stuchlik bought the Express FM and Classic FM radio stations, in which a two-third stake was bought by last year.

Some criticise Stuchlik for having invested in the Fair Credit company which provides high-interest loans. Stuchlik reacted saying he is only a passive investor and decided to invest in this company because it treats its clients decently, without driving anyone into financial problems or a distraint trap.

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