Saturday, 24 August 2019

TOP 09's head failing to find topics for elections

ČTK |
2 February 2016

Prague, Feb 1 (CTK) - Miroslav Kalousek, chairman of the Czech opposition conservative TOP 09, though he is an unchallengeable political strategist, has been in vain seeking a topic with which he would lead his party to the next elections, Oldrich Danda wrote in daily Pravo on Monday.

He writes that the election preferences of TOP 09, once a government party, have been falling down to the 5 percent parliamentary barrier, which is no wonder as everything seems to be playing against it.

Danda writes that Czech politics has of late been in the grip of two phenomena, while Kalousek and his colleagues take an opposite stance on almost all around them.

The first phenomenon is Finance Minister and ANO head Andrej Babis who has been riding a wave of popularity that is utterly unseen in the country, Danda writes.

Whatever he may do, his fans forgive him, and any criticism, however much justified it may be, will harm the critics rather than the popular minister, he writes.

TOP 09's stance on the migrant crisis is not fortunate from the point of view of its support either, Danda writes.

He writes that the accommodating stand taken by the former, now honorary chairman Karel Schwarzenberg, 78, on the people fleeing from the war is difficult to explain to the Czech public in the light of the masses of migrants arriving in Europe and the involved problems.

Though the members of the party'a new leadership repeatedly say they are not happy about the influx of migrants and that they only reject President Milos Zeman and Babis's populism, they have once been ranked among the welcomers of potential Islamist terrorists, which is difficult to get rid of, Danda writes.

The once popular Schwarzenberg has become a burden for TOP 09 after his departure for political retirement rather than an attraction for voters, Danda writes.

Besides, Kalousek has been left at the head of the party, which he founded in 2009 and was previously quite successful thanks to the charismatic Schwarzenberg, quite alone, Danda writes.

It is true, he writes, that the delegates to last autumn's congress elected people he wanted to the party leadership, but none of them is fit for rough times.

Kalousek is encircled by the sympathetic Leos Heger, Helena Langsadlova who is trying to do her utmost and the politically talented, but unexperienced Marketa Adamova, but no one who would fill in the space left by the witty Prince Schwarzenberg, Danda writes.

In the Chamber of Deputies, where the TOP 09 deputy group is headed by Frantisek Laudat, Kalousek again does all work by himself like under Schwarzenberg, Danda writes.

Another problem Kalousek must deal with is that the alliance with the Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement, which has reinforced TOP 09 in the regions, starts collapsing, Danda writes.

He writes that TOP 09 may only be saved by the two partners' recognition that they will not probably be returned to the Chamber of Deputies in the next general election to be held in 2017 without one another.

Kalousek may only hope that the electronic registration of sales (EET), which Babis is strongly pushing through and the passing of which the opposition is trying to mar with the help of obstructions, proves to be as harmful as he vehemently claims, Danda writes.

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