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TOP 09 leader: Right-wing parties should form bloc

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Prague, Nov 3 (CTK) – Czech “parties to the right of the centre” should form a bloc that will be able to defeat Finance Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO, Miroslav Kalousek, leader of the conservative opposition TOP 09, told journalists on Thursday.

The opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is ready to discuss cooperation on the right, ODS leader Petr Fiala said.

Pavel Belobradek, leader of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), a junior coalition government member, said the formation of a single project was not likely now.

Kalousek said ANO was not any mainstream party, but a grouping aimed at concentrating power, which could harm the Czech political system.

Kalousek said this was why TOP 09 was interested in forming a right-wing bloc to defeat ANO.

If ANO won the elections, the creation of a broad coalition against it would weaken its member parties, while it would strengthen ANO, he added.

Cooperation of right-wing parties is a way to gain sufficient strength to insist on the objectives the ODS has, Fiala said.

Belobradek said the creation of a joint election bloc was connected with programme and personnel problems.

He said he could not imagine Christian Democrats voting for a list of candidates featuring Kalousek who left the party in 2009.

Belobradek said that if Babis’ defeat were the only objective for the alignment of right-wing parties, this would be too little.

Kalousek also proposed that right-wing parties field a joint candidate for the president.

Belobradek said he doubted the proposal because cooperation with another party was unacceptable for a number of voters of the individual parties.

He said he could imagine right-wing parties acting independently and each expressing support a presidential candidate who would run as an independent.

The next general election is scheduled for next year, the presidential contest for 2018.

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