Prague, May 19 (CTK) – MEP Pavel Svoboda will lead the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) in the election to the European Parliament (EP) to be held in May 2019, followed by MEPs Tomas Zdechovsky and Michaela Sojdrova on the candidates’ list, KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek told CTK on Saturday.

The party is still discussing whether it should form a joint list of candidates with TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents (STAN), he added.

Svoboda said he considered the list of the EP election candidates strong.

The main election topics are security and the solution to the migrant crisis, he said. He stressed that the Christian Democrats demanded that the Czech Republic stay in the EU as there was no other alternative.

The KDU-CSL is yet to prepare and release its detailed programme for the EU election.

Zdechovsky said the Christian Democrats should strengthen its position in the EP election.

“Support for families with children, security, free future and solidarity that is connected with safety and responsibility. I think that those are the topics that stand close to us, the Christian Democrats,” Sojdrova said, commenting on the party’s programme.

The Christian Democrats selected their EP election candidates for the first 14 places on Saturday.

Belobradek told CTK that the election staff would be set up and then the party would decide on the costs of the campaign, its form and the date of its launching.

“We will also have to decide whether we will run solo or not,” he said. The Christian Democrats are discussing election cooperation with TOP 09 and STAN.

The EU citizens elect MEPs once in five years. The Czech Republic has 21 seat in the EP.

In the past EP elections in 2014, the Christian Democrats gained 9.95 percent of the vote and three MEPs. The ANO movement narrowly won, gaining fours seats, the same number as the election coalition of TOP 09 and STAN as well as the Social Democrats (CSSD). The Communists (KSCM) have three MEPs, the Civic Democrats (ODS) two and the Free Citizens Party one.

Turnout in the 2014 EP election was record low of only 18.2 percent.

In the upcoming EP election to be held between May 23 and 26, 2019, voters will choose the decreased number of 705 MEP out of the current 751 due to Brexit.