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Chairman and founder of the Přísaha movement Robert Šlachta wants to become a senator. “I have decided that I will run in the senate elections in Břeclav,” he told Seznam Zprávám.
A place in the upper chamber of the Parliament is not the only one that the movement promises from the next election year. He intends to take part in the European and regional elections, so in recent months the Přísaha has taken a number of steps to make himself more visible.
She started it in the summer with a billboard campaign against the government “They cheated you – next time the Oath”. Now Šlachta, together with future European candidate leader Nikola Bartošek, is touring European countries and explaining at the borders how he wants to stop migration.
“That will be our main topic for the European elections,” says Šlachta, adding that the movement also wants to continue emphasizing the issue of corruption.
In the last parliamentary elections, Přísaha with 251,000 votes and 4.7 percent was just short of entering the Chamber, but at the same time it was able to overtake the established – and at that time still parliamentary – parties, such as the ČSSD and the KSČM.
To the surprise of sociologists, the rapidly rising star did not go out immediately and still maintains stable preferences. In the last two years, it has been around three percent in the election models, so the five percent limit is still within sight. Which, by the way, is a result comparable to the preferences of the TOP 09 or KDU-ČSL government parties.
Sociological surveys do not offer an explanation and, due to the small sample, they are also stingy with the characteristics of the Nobility voters. However, it is a group that only votes for a minimum of young people, the majority of voters are from the age group of 45 to 54 years.
According to sociologists, the results of the Oath in the polls may be due to a certain laxity of voters of non-parliamentary parties. “The polls don’t show that, but it seems to me that the voters of these parties don’t care much about the election at the moment. And out of a certain inertia, they simply name their last choice,” thinks sociologist Jan Herzmann.
According to Ivan Cuker from the agency Median, some of the voters of Přísaha are hesitating whether to continue voting for the party. “About half of those who currently give us the Oath as their first option are considering choosing another party,” he says.
According to Herzmann, on the one hand, it is positive for these parties that they did not lose voters. On the other hand, there is a risk of how they behave closer to the elections. “Voters can go either way. If disillusionment with the government grows, they may look to these parties for an alternative. But the dispute between the government and Babiš can also escalate again, and the voters will stick to the stronger parties,” Herzmann adds.
A number of Šlacht’s supporters hesitate between him and ANO – and some voters of Andrej Babiš, on the other hand, are eyeing the Pledge.
“Actually, I don’t know, I’m a little surprised by it myself,” answers Šlachta when asked how his movement maintains stable support in the polls. On the contrary, he complains about the difficulties of all non-parliamentary parties – he is not visible as much, he does not have such access to the media, and thus it is difficult to find supporters and sponsors.
Therefore, the Oath seeks visible allies and is not too picky. Former ODS minister Vlastimil Tlustý advises her with the program. Petr Vokřál, the former mayor of Brno for ANO, will help with the regional elections. And in mid-September, Šlachta criticized energy prices together with ČSSD chairman Michal Šmarda.
“I learned that you need to evoke emotion. The worst thing is when you are stolen from everyone,” explains Šlachta, which brought him to the same podium with the social democrat. It was said to be a one-time event, when the Pledge and the ČSSD were brought together by a common theme. At the same time, Šlachta says that if a joint regional candidate were to be agreed upon in a region, the parties will not interfere.
He also admits that he is looking for famous names to make the movement visible and attract more people. “In the beginning, I had no idea what problems there would be with people. Now we are trying to build the party from within, we have organizations in all regions. There are 300 members, and when we announced the cooperation with Vokřál, for example, they started to increase faster,” praises Šlachta.
That the movement is spread quite widely from right to left in its search for allies? “We will deal with everyone with whom we have some programmatic overlap,” says Přísaha vice-chairman Jaroslav Pelc.
The exception is said to be Jindřich Rajchl and his PRO, with whom they do not agree on almost anything.
In the Oath, there is still a sensitive question regarding the ANO movement. It bothers the nobles that they were referred to as “B-type ANO”, which Babiš cultivated as a possible coalition partner. “Let someone prove it, let them put the evidence on the table,” he is angry with the journalist. But what if an offer came from ANO in the next election period? “I’m not closing the road to either side now,” says Šlachta.
The “people problem” is typical of emerging parties. Today, Šlachta mainly relies on three vice-presidents and three employees – a secretary and two people for social networks and graphics. His former team disbanded after his unsuccessful election.
Former detective Karel Tichý said goodbye to the Priesha in a bad way, who described the experience with the Priesha as the biggest mistake of his life. Šlacht’s former colleague from ÚOOZ Jaroslava Burianová, police investigator Jiřina Hofmanová and others also ended up in the movement.
Jiří Komárek, a former anti-mafia unit detective, also left last year. Former vice-chairman and important sponsor Tomáš Sochr has withdrawn from the management and as an ordinary member is the mayor of Nenačovice in Central Bohemia.
Some departing members complained that the Nobility was too directive and impossible to get along with. The head of the Oath denies this – he is said to be personally authoritative, but that is not how he runs the movement. And he adds: “We must not be seen as just a police party.”
The good result in the elections secured at least funding for the Pledge, the movement will receive less than 63 million crowns by the end of the election period. Every year, for example, state contributions in the amount of almost 9.4 million land on her transparent account. The movement used part of the money to pay off the previous campaign, the rest is said to be trying to be spread over all upcoming elections. To avoid what happened last time, when the Oath ran out of money a few weeks before the election.
The movement is pinning its hopes on the European elections – even if it does not win MEPs, it may receive a state grant. Each party that gets at least a percentage of the total number of votes will receive 30 crowns for each vote.
The Oath has no major sponsors – only Jiří Suchánek, the owner of the company Maxprogres, which supplies security technology, camera systems and other security equipment, contributes a significant amount. Before the elections, he gave 1.5 million crowns to the party, last year and this year he contributed the same amount.