Wednesday, 12 December 2018

TOP 09 to be in opposition, says leader

23 October 2017

Prague, Oct 21 (CTK) - The conservative TOP 09 will be in opposition after the election to the Czech Chamber of Deputies, party leader Miroslav Kalousek told journalists after its results showing that it was heavily defeated were announced on Saturday.

The public has decided that the parties headed by two agents of the Communist StB secret police and one extremist have almost the constitutional majority [three-fifths] in the lower house, Kalousek said.

He alluded to the victory of ANO, headed by food and media mogul Andrej Babis, the Communists (KSCM), headed by Vojtech Filip, and Tomio Okamura's chairman of the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

The Slovak Nation's Memory Institute (UPN) said Babis had become a collaborator of the Communist StB secret police in 1980. Babis has denied the allegation.

Filip, too, may have been an StB agent.

Some observers say the SPD is a populist anti-Islam and anti-migrant movement.

Kalousek said no democratic, pro-Western majority could be formed.

"TOP 09 will be in opposition," he added.

Kalousek said he would announce whether to step down at the Tuesday meeting of the TOP 09 board.

TOP 09 will hold its national congress at the end of November.

Kalousek also spoke about a possible early election.

He said he had been trying to form an election coalition against ANO.

"We will do our utmost to integrate democratic forces before the next, perhaps early election," he added.

Kalousek said the fragmentation of the political scene was a wish of Babis.

Nine parties will enter the new the Chamber of Deputies. TOP 09 gained 5.2 of the vote, much less than its 12 percent in 2013.

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