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Czech Pirates want to win 10-percent of vote, says leader

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Prague, Oct 2 (CTK) – The Czech Pirates want not only to enter the Chamber of Deputies for the first time, but also to win at least 10 percent of the vote so that they can push through more of their programme, their leader Ivan Bartos has told CTK in an interview held three weeks before the general election.

Bartos said this goal is ambitious yet realistic as it is based on results of opinion polls.

The polls of the Median and CVVM institute’s released last week indicated that the Pirates would receive 6 and 6.4 percent of the vote, respectively.

Bartos said the Pirates would like the 5-percent threshold to enter the Chamber of Deputies to be lowered.

If the party succeeds, it will be pushing for amendments to the laws on free access to information and on the online register of contracts, he said.

Bartos said the duty to release their contracts should apply to all state-controlled firms including the CEZ power utility.

The Pirates also want to stop and revise the electronic registration of sales (EET).

Many Czech companies are in great trouble now because former finance minister Andrej Babis (ANO) ignored the fact that the EET system, which he introduced, is not a good solution for online shops, card payments and small entrepreneurs, Bartos said.

The planned third and fourth stages of the EET should be scrapped, he added.

As of next March, the EET is to apply to food stalls and stalls selling local farming products as well as to the services of accountants, lawyers and doctors. As of June 2018, it is to be obligatory for selected artisans and services.

Bartos said the legislative process in parliament should be made more transparent.

He said the party is ready to be in opposition but also to negotiate about its participation in a future government with parties that have trustworthy representatives and compatible programmes.

The Pirates cannot see any natural partner on the political scene. Bartos said he would like other parties to be more democratic and get rid of people related to corruption scandals.

He said the rich businessman Babis, who leads ANO, the election’s favourite, does not appear trustworthy to him. He said it seems that the Mafra publishers including the Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) and Lidove noviny (LN) national dailies still backs Babis, being part of his trust funds.

Bartos said the Pirates election campaign will cost about eight million crowns and it is based primarily on volunteers.

The Pirates have 80,000 supporters on Facebook.

The Pirates would be a newcomer in the lower house of parliament, but Bartos rejected the view that they are a new, inexperienced party. He pointed out that they have a senator and many of their election candidates have been active in local politics.

He said the Pirates party was founded before the ANO movement, before TOP 09 of Miroslav Kalousek and before Tomio Okamura, now leader of Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), entered politics.

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