The junior ruling coalition Christian Democrats [KDU-ČSL] could become the nationwide partner of the opposition Mayors and Independents [STAN] party, which climbed to the highest levels of politics thanks to its cooperation with the centre-right TOP 09. That conclusion can be reached from comments lately made by STAN leader Petr Gazdík and a KDU-ČSL boss Pavel Bělobrádek.
Gazdík is refusing to further cooperate with TOP 09 on an exclusive basis as he intends to create a wider bloc of allied parties before next year’s parliamentary elections.
“We’ve succeeded in knitting together some regional movements. Within them are some real talents who should long ago have made it into Parliament or the Senate,” Gazdík recently stated. He identified TOP 09, the Christian Democrats and the Civic Democrats [ODS] as the most natural parliamentary allies of STAN.
Bělobrádek, meanwhile, identified only TOP 09 and STAN as his preferred partners. “TOP 09 and the ‘Mayors’ are with us affiliated in the same European Parliament party group. I am able to picture a future election alliance with them,” he said. He baulked, however, at the creation of such a formation before autumn next year.
It is only so far certain that the cooperation pact linking STAN and TOP 09 will definitively end in December. “The Mayors have unambiguously told us that any form of two-party agreement is for them unacceptable,” said TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek. Both sides will by the end of this year settle their commitments to each other, with Gazdík in the process departing the leadership of their lower chamber representation in Parliament.
Gazdík will meanwhile make preparations for discussions with all potential general election allies, dispensing with any idea of exclusive arrangements.
Kalousek has been urging the creation of a right-wing bloc of parties intent on battling the centre to centre-right ANO movement. While ODS is ready to discuss his proposal, KDU-ČSL is sceptical about it as it is unhappy that Kalousek is TOP 09’s leader. Kalousek said he was convinced that STAN is determined to get into government with the Christian Democrats. “Either someone has the target of winning an election, or they want to be in government at any price,” he remarked.