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Mayors and Independents end cooperation with TOP 09

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Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) – The close cooperation between the right-wing party TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents (STAN) will end on December 31, 2016, their chairmen Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) and Petr Gazdik (STAN) said after the negotiations of the leaderships of the two parties tonight.
“The Mayors clearly told us that any bilateral agreement with us is unacceptable for them and that they want to terminate it,” Kalousek told CTK.
“We feel sorry about it. We believe it would make sense to continue cooperating,” he said.
The end of the alliance has been expected for a long time. The two parties formed one group in parliament, both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate.
TOP 09 wants Gazdik to leave the post of deputy head of the lower house of Czech parliament after the cooperation agreement expires. This is likely to happen early next year.
Gazdik said he is ready to give up the post provided that the two parties agree on the settlement of all issues, he told CTK.
However, STAN said it considers TOP 09’s demand an ultimatum. It will discuss it on Thursday, STAN said in a press release.
Gazdik recalled that TOP 09 and STAN have MPs who have been elected for their alliance. The mandate of their common lower house deputies will expire in the late 2017 and that of their last senators in the late 2022.
TOP 09 and STAN launched their alliance in 2009 when TOP was established by Kalousek. TOP 09 was the major partner and STAN was a movement then. In 2010-13, TOP 09 was part of the right-wing government. In the late 2013, TOP 09 and STAN signed an agreement on looser cooperation.
Since late 2013, TOP 09 has been a junior opposition party and its popularity has dropped. Kalousek recently proposed that Czech right-wing parties run in the next general election as a bloc.
STAN ran separately in the local elections in 2014 and the recent regional elections, in which they were more successful than TOP 09.
In the general election scheduled for next autumn, STAN does not plan to form any exclusive alliance with any other party but it is prepared to negotiate about possible cooperation after the elections with a broad spectrum of parties, it said in the press release.

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