Saturday, 18 November 2017

Kalousek to head TOP 09 deputy group

ČTK |
1 November 2017

Prague, Oct 31 (CTK) - Miroslav Kalousek, outgoing chairman of the Czech conservative TOP 09, was elected the party's seven-member deputy group head, while Marketa Pekarova Adamova and Frantisek Vacha became its deputy chairpersons on Tuesday.

By Kalousek's election, TOP 09 has secured more space to him in debates at the lower house plenary sessions, which the party chairpersons and deputy groups' heads enjoy, even after he ends as the TOP 09 chairman.

Kalousek announced that he would not be defending his chairmanship at the November congress in reaction to the party's poor results in the October 20-21 general election.

TOP 09 gained only 5.3 of the vote, compared to 12 percent in the previous election to the Chamber of Deputies four years ago. It entered the lower house mainly thanks to votes from Prague. It has lost 19 mandates and will have mere seven in the 200-seat lower house.

The TOP 09 deputy group agreed on Tuesday not to support a planned minority government of the election-winning ANO to include unaffiliated experts as well.

The TOP 09 MPs also confirmed they would like to agree on a closer cooperation with the Mayors and Independents (STAN) and Christian Democrats' (KDU-CSL) deputy groups.

Kalousek, 56, co-founded TOP 09 in 2009 and was its first deputy chairman from November 2009. He became its leader at the congress in November 2015, replacing Karel Schwarzenberg.

In the past, Kalousek headed the KDU-CSL for almost three years. He resigned in 2006 after his plan of the Christian Democrats' participation in a minority government with the Social Democrats (CSSD), supported by the Communists (KSCM), failed. He left the KDU-CSL in June 2009.

The TOP 09 group is the last deputy group to elect its leadership after the general election. The other ones did so last week.

Out of the nine parties that entered the Chamber of Deputies, the winning ANO will have 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house, the Civic Democrats (ODS) 25, the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Pirates 22 each, the KSCM and the CSSD 15 each, the KDU-CSL ten, TOP 09 seven and STAN six.

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