Prague, Nov 4 (CTK) – Former Czech central bank vice governor Ludek Niedermayer, who was elected to the European Parliament for the centre-right TOP 09 as an unaffiliated candidate in 2014, decided to become a member of the centre-right party, he told a meeting of the TOP 09 regional branch in Prague on Saturday.

Niedermayer, 51, is one of the politicians whom Czech media mention as a possible successor to the party’s outgoing chairman Miroslav Kalousek.

Kalousek announced that he would not be defending his post at the TOP 09 forthcoming congress in reaction to the party’s poor results in the recent general election. TOP 09 gained only 5.3 of the vote, compared to 12 percent in the previous election four years ago. It now has only seven MPs in the 200-seat lower house, while in the previous election period it had 26.

Niedermayer did not comment on his possible candidacy for party’s leader at the TOP 09 Prague branch meeting. However, public Czech Radio’s (CRo) website quotes him as saying he will not run for TOP 09 chairman.

Former justice minister Jiri Pospisil is another politician who may run for TOP 09 chairman. Like Niedermayer, Pospisil, 41, was elected an MEP for TOP 09 as unaffiliated in 2014. He was a the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) from 1998 to early 2014. Ten days ago, he joined TOP 09.

On Friday, former Prague concillor Ludmila Stvanova said she is running for TOP 09 leader. On the contrary, TOP 09 deputy chairwoman Marketa Pekarova Adamova announced that she is not going to run for the post.

TOP 09 honorary chairman Karel Schwarzenberg said Prague politician Jakub Leps would be a good candidate for party chairman. In reaction, Leps said he is considering his possible candidacy.