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Bartoš re-elected as Pirate Party chairman for another two years

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Brno, Jan 6 (CTK) – Ivan Bartos was re-elected chairman of the Czech Pirate Party by its national forum for another two years on Saturday, being supported by 276 of the 293 participants in the online vote.

Bartos was the only candidate for chairmanship.

Before the vote, he said the Pirates will be constructive opposition in the Chamber of Deputies, but they should take an active part in forming the government in the next election period due in 2021-2025.

Bartos, 37, co-founded the Pirate Party, which he chaired in 2009-2014 and again since 2016.

Last year, he successfully led the Pirates to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time. In the October 2017 general election, the party won 22 mandates, becoming the third strongest entity in the 200-seat Chamber.

About 200 Pirates attended the party’s forum in Brno on Saturday, but other members could vote online. The vote was joined by 293 of the party’s 541 eligible members.

After the vote, Bartos thanked the Pirates for support and for their performance in last year’s general election.

He said the Pirates must set ambitious goals for themselves.

“Visions must be bold. If we had set low goals, we would have never been where we are now,” Bartos said.

Later on Saturday, Bartos told a press conference that the Pirates should focus on strengthening their position in their stronghold towns and seek victory in the autumn local elections in Prague.

In future, the Pirate Party should become the main liberal democratic political force in Czechia, Bartos said.

He said the Pirates should not introduce women’s representation quotas in the party, because quotas can only highlight a problem but not resolve it.

The Pirates should be an example for others in creating conditions for women to succeed in the party even without quotas.

Bartos said the Pirates would not support a possible second cabinet of Andrej Babis, leader of the election-winning ANO movement, if his current ANO minority cabinet failed to win the lower house’s confidence in a vote due on January 10.

Nevertheless, the Pirate lawmakers are ready to support government proposals if they are in harmony with the Pirate Party’s own priorities, Bartos said.

In a speech at the forum before his re-election, Bartos said the Pirates have a chance of markedly succeed in the next general election, defeat even ANO, the current strongest party, and actively join forming a government afterwards.

For the Pirates to continue rising, it is necessary to fulfil the promises they made ahead of the October 2017 elections and remain humble, he said.

In the upcoming direct presidential election, the Pirates will not back any of the nine contenders, Bartos said.

Bartos said his goal as the Pirate chairman is the party’s transformation into a decentralised political force that would be represented in all regions and would offer a chance to competent people to enter politics.

He also wants to seek a more transparent operation of the Chamber of Deputies and promote the Pirates’ priorities in it, he said.

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