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South Moravian ANO against cooperation with ČSSD’s Hašek

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Brno, Aug 10 (CTK) – The regional branch of the Czech government ANO movement of Andrej Babis in South Moravia rejects any post-election cooperation with Governor Michal Hasek, Social Democrat (CSSD) election leader, saying he repeatedly told lies in the past, ANO election leader Bohumil Simek said on Wednesday.

The regional election will be held in October.

ANO said most recently Hasek insufficiently explained his cooperation with lobbyist Jana Mrencova.

It added that it does not rule out negotiations with the CSSD without Hasek.

Hasek, 40, former CSSD first deputy head until November 2013, has been governor since 2008. He has been a popular politician in South Moravia and since 2015, he has been the most popular regional governor. However, he is connected with some controversial cases, including a meeting between a part of the CSSD leadership and President Milos Zeman after the early general election in October 2013. It was allegedly aimed to topple party chairman Bohuslav Sobotka and prevent him from becoming prime minister.

ANO said it will ask other parties and movements running in the election in South Moravia whether Hasek is an acceptable partner for them.

Hasek said recently ANO’s interests are behind the criticism of the media promotion of the region and his person. He said it is others, not him who tell lies in the case.

Hasek does not deny cooperation with Mrencova, but he has said he knew nothing about any Lucie Proutnikova, from whose e-mail some of his statements and announcements of his activities were sent to the media.

According to the testimony by former regional employees, the mails were sent by Mrencova.

“I do not know who it is, I do not know whether the figure exists, or not,” Hasek said on Monday about Proutnikova.

Simek, head of the Brno municipal police and Hasek’s former subordinate at the regional self-rule authority, said Hasek “knew the pseudonym.”

Simek said Hasek intensively cooperated with Mrencova, who has been sentenced for corruption, but the verdict is not yet valid.

He said Mrencova was presented as Hasek’s PR manager to him and that he was told that he should accommodate her as far as this is possible.

Simek said it is not fair of Hasek to try to keep away from Mrencova because she “really did her best,” they were in phone contact almost every day.

The Greens and Pirates called on Hasek to resign as the regional governor and CSSD election leader in South Moravia last week. Hasek dismissed the call and the presidium of the CSSD regional committee supported him on Monday.

An explanation of the region’s contracts with the firms connected with Mrencova was also demanded by the coalition Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

They said on Tuesday Hasek’s statements to date have been insufficient and that they demand a more thorough check of the contracts and services.

The South Moravia Region in the past paid for services to the Marketing Centre Profil, controlled by Milos Skacel, and to the Producentske Centre Profil, directly controlled by Mrencova, it ensues from information that CTK received from the region’s spokeswoman Eliska Windova on Tuesday and which it found in the Company Register.

The region signed contracts for consultations, media training and other services worth a total of 3.75 million crowns, according to the above information.

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