* Czech Republic Election: The good, the bad and the ugly.
– The Czechs clearly sent a negative message to the major parties (CSSD, Top09) promoting Brussels and the EU Core, but the ANO Party cannot be trusted. The political situation is complex and in complete chaos.
** We will be frank. Unlike Austria, the V4 Report was not optimistic or comfortable regarding the Czech elections. Given the lack of quality and integrity among the front runner (ANO) and the establishment parties, we could not confidently support any of the above. The political situation continues to be a chaos and is very difficult to grasp.
However, one thing is still certain for us. As we said in our previous post on October 10, “As the political establishment in the Czech Republic continues to implode, the Czech people represent the best defense against the multicult agenda being pushed by Berlin, Paris and the EU Core.”
“The Czech people are extremely skeptical of the EU and strong opponents of Angela Merkel’s migration agenda. They will not tolerate leaders who would embrace EU Solidarity on migration or multiculturalism. Andrej Babis would be advised not to cross that line.”
~~ For our readers who reside outside of the Czech Republic, please refer to the brief description of the numerous parties at the bottom of this post. Radomír Pleskač, a member of our audience, provided an excellent description. Thank you and great job Radomír. ~~
Other than ANO winning, we had no idea how this election would end. We do not view the election results as pro-ANO; rather, we believe it was a revolt against the establishment and a rejection of the parties promoting the EU Core Group of France and Germany. We will not touch on every detail, but feel we need to repeat our deep concerns regarding the ANO Party, while identifying the biggest losers and winners of the election.
1. We have many reservations regarding ANO. Andrej Babis won easily and he campaigned against the establishment and Angela Merkel’s migration agenda. Despite his recent anti-migrant rhetoric, many Czechs seem to distrust Babis. According to the CVVM Institute, Babis was trusted by 59% of Czechs in 2015. Today, that figure has fallen to 37%. Many Czechs believe he is an opportunist and would do or say almost anything to become the next PM.
The V4 Report has major concerns with the ANO Party, especially EU Minister Vera Jourova, who has unjustly attacked both Hungary and Poland while claiming “open society values are at the heart of EU action.” We are also very uncomfortable with ANO’s close ties to EU radical Guy Verhofstadt and his ALDE group in Brussels. We will be following the interactions between Babis and these two very closely.
In addition, Andrej Babis has been formally charged with fraud in a case involving a 2 million euro “EU subsidy”. We do not believe it is healthy for a nation to have its leader being investigated by an outside power, such as the EU, which can have influence over the internal policies of the Czech Republic. For instance, would the EU “negotiate” with Babis behind closed doors in exchange for his pledge to accept migrant quotas from Greece and Italy? It would be alarming for the Czech Republic or any other European nation state to find themselves in a situation where the EU has leverage over their leaders.
Babis may later find himself removed from office due to his legal issues. Who would then assume his post? Another member of ANO or would new elections be called? The thought of EU Minister Vera Jourova (ANO) taking over as leader of the Czech Republic is nauseating and totally misaligned with the character and beliefs of the Czech voter.
2. The biggest loser was the CSSD. The Social Democrats, like most leftist parties across Europe, were absolutely crushed. They suffered heavy losses and were viewed as pro-Berlin and pro-EU. The outgoing PM, Bohuslav Sobotka, may have damaged his party even further when he proclaimed support for the euro and deeper integration within the EU Core last week. Sobotka could be looking for a cushy job in Brussels.
3. Another big loser was the Top09. The strongest pro-migration/EU Party barely reached the 5% electoral threshold and suffered major losses as well. Top09 is best symbolized by the old establishment of Karel Schwarzenberg and Miroslav Kalousek, who is by far the least-trusted Czech politician.
Both Schwarzenberg and Kalousek are fierce opponents of Viktor Orban and the leaders of Poland. Part of their platform centered around moving the Czechs away from the V4 to embrace “EU Solidarity”, which did not work out too well for Sweden.
Prince Schwarzenberg (yes, he is a real Prince) believes the Czech Republic should accept many more migrants, claiming “We could certainly integrate them much more than we think. When Germany can handle 800,000, we can have 80,000. I assure you it would not be a problem.” Obviously, the Czechs thought otherwise.
4. The Winners. The Pirate Party and SPD are new and surprised many with their showing. The success of the SPD, the strongest anti-migrant group, did not surprise us. The Czechs are ardent opponents of the EU’s relocation agenda and, according to Yahoo, migration was a key issue in the election.
While the Czechs were sending the establishment a message, another new Party (Pirates) benefited. However, we are not impressed with their message or leader, who is extremely liberal and quite a radical activist. While a distraction, they offer no valuable qualities. We believe they are a short-term “fad” with the same brief life expectancy of the former VV Party.
5. ODS (second at 11.31%) may be the biggest winner. Under Klaus “the elder”, the centre-right Party was a major influence until they suffered major scandals from two of their past PMs. They may be making a comeback. They are against the migrant quotas and “moderately skeptical” of Brussels. We believe they offer much more credibility and substance than the ANO Party. We will judge them by their actions but they could be the party to watch.
The voting is over and the results are final. However, the situation is not pretty and no one can be sure what comes next. As we wrote on October 10th, “The main suspense will be the final positioning of the various parties trailing Babis and the complex coalition building that will occur after the votes are counted. This will be very interesting and will no doubt create much drama and controversy in the Czech Republic for the next several months.”
~~ Election Guide ~~
A summary of Czech political parties graciously provided to us by Radomír Pleskač:
ANO – centrist, without hard principles and stances. Recently they started talking little bit eurosceptism…. however I find it hard to believe them, because the Leader is the biggest reciever of EU subsidies in the country …. He is also a former informer for the communist police. And they dealt some hard strikes to small bussinesses in the last government.
ODS – right wing, since the last election cycle they reformed and lot, and are strong in their convictions. They have lot of good people (for example Vaclav Klaus ml., who is a son of the ex president). Mostly eurosceptic, some would favor referendum for leaving.
SPD – anti-immigrant party, heavily eurosceptic, for the rest of their positions they are mostly conservative-left and centrist. New party.
Pirati – Pirate party, centre-left (liberal-left). Pro-eu. Heavy focus on digitizing the state aparatus. However some people in there are cause for concern, for example the leader attends antifa rallies …..
KSCM – communist party. conservative-left. heavily eurosceptic. anti-nato. Some people are okay on some issues (for example for private gun ownership)
CSSD – Social democrats. They are split between conservative and liberal-left. Split on EU.They mostly support it although with reservations (for example it was them who in the last government refused to accept any migrants.)
KDU-CSL – christian democrats. Centrist with conservative flavor (focus on family values). Mostly pro-eu
STAN – Independents – centrist with little lean on the right. They are mostly pro-eu.
TOP09 – Although they call-themselves as a part of right I would clasify tham as centre-left. (Vaclav Klaus called them “Social democrats for the wealthy”). Liberal left. Heavily pro EU.