Prague’s ANO-led alliance collapses
Amere year after the Prague City Hall coalition of ANO, the Social Democrats [ČSSD] and the Threeparty Coalition was born, and some three weeks after the three partners backed the removal of four councillors, the alliance spearheaded by mayor Adriana Krnáčová has been consigned to the history books.
Even though Krnáčová should be able to stay on as mayor with the backing of a different combination of supporters, recent developments have caused her self-assured ‘set in stone’ election pledge of “I’ll simply take care of things” to suffer some serious cracks.
A similar demise could easily befall administrations in other cities, including Brno, where Babiš’s political brainchild is failing to properly
govern at the city hall and city district halls. Krnáčová, together with ČSSD, laid the blame for the Prague coalition’s disintegration at the door of the Three-party Coalition, which groups the Greens, Christian Democrats, and the Mayors and Independents party.
During the preceding assembly meeting, the Three-party Coalition joined forces with the opposition to see through an increase in financial support for city districts of from CZK 2,600 to CZK 2,900 per resident. This will have an impact on Prague City Hall’s yet to be approved 2016 budget. The Three-party Coalition also failed to adhere to the previously agreed procedure for voting on the meeting agenda. “We asked for an explanation of why they torpedoed the budget preparation but we didn’t get a satisfactory answer. The cooperation no longer works,” the
ČSSD abandoned the meeting no more than 20 minutes into it. “Our trust in the Three-party Coalition has hit the freezing point. We cannot envisage further cooperationmayor said under these circumstances,” said Karel Březina, head of ČSSD’s Prague City Hall assembly members. According to Miloslav Ludvík, chair of ČSSD’s Prague party organisation, partners should trust and not betray one another. “What we are seeing is a true and proper divorce,” he remarked. Meanwhile, Petr Štěpánek, chair of the Three-party Coalition assembly members’ grouping, stated: “This proves our previous point about the coalition being dead.”
“The coalition at Prague City Hall has been giving the impression of a lame duck for some time. ČSSD tried to keep it alive through all sorts of compromises in order to ensure a working government for the city,” PM Bohuslav Sobotka concluded.
The opposition showed no surprise at the latest developments. The Civic Democrats [ODS] said they were simply an outward demonstration of what everyone had known for some time. “The degree of ineptitude and political folly had reached such dimensions that we could not have arrived at any other outcome,” added Miroslav Kalousek, first deputy chair of TOP 09.