The executive committee of the TOP 09 government decided on Thursday early evening that former party leaders Miroslav Kalousek and Jiří Pospíšil will not appear on the candidate list of the Together coalition for the European elections.
The party’s leadership decided whether the ex-minister of finance and the MEP would be placed in other positions belonging to TOP 09 behind Luďek Niedermayer, who is the leader of the top party in third place on the coalition candidate list.
However, according to information from Seznam Zpráv, Pekarová Adamová pushed for her horse, Member of Parliament and Vice-Chairman of the Committee for European Affairs Ondřej Kolář, to appear in sixth place as a candidate. He has the idea that the former mayor of Prague 6, who contributed to the removal of the statue of Russian Marshal Koněv, was the new face of the party for European politics. The Hradec Deputy Mayor Lukáš Řádek should run for 10th place.
“I’m not surprised, I had no big illusions. However, above all, I did not want to disappoint the trust of the 12 regional organizations of the party, which wanted me on the candidate list and supported me. I accept the decision,” Kalousek said on the X social network.
The party leadership stated that it reflects the number of nominations and support for Kalouska’s candidacy for the European Parliament, but that the contribution of the Spolu coalition is more fundamental. And she invited the ex-minister to run for the Senate.
“Unification of political parties is necessary for the defeat of populism and extremism, both at the European level and especially at the domestic level. The executive committee of TOP 09 considers the return of Miroslav Kalousk to the Czech political scene to be more beneficial, and therefore invites him to run in the senate elections,” the party’s statement reads.
Executive Committee @TOP09cz today he did not approve my candidacy for the EP. I’m not surprised, I had no big illusions. However, above all, I did not want to disappoint the trust of the 12 regional organizations of the party, which wanted me on the candidate list and supported me.
I accept the decision. The process that leads to it…
— Miroslav Kalousek🇺🇦🇨🇿 (@kalousekm) December 14, 2023
First, the situation with the list of candidates was resolved by the party’s presidency, the majority of which, according to Seznam Zpráv information, voted against Kalousko and Pospíšil. On the contrary, the chairperson Pekarová Adamová succeeded with her proposal of the list of candidates.
This was followed by a meeting of the executive committee of TOP 09. According to Seznam Zpráv sources, Pospíšil faced questions about the accumulation of functions, because in addition to the mandate of the MEP, he also holds the post of deputy mayor of Prague. In his speech, Kalousek criticized the head of the party, while its vice-presidents criticized Kalousk’s approach to the candidacy for Spolu.
Coalition partners were also against Kalouska’s candidacy, which was also recently expressed by the leader of Together for the European elections, Alexandr Vondra, in an interview with Novinky.cz.
This is also why this spring Pekarová Adamová’s leadership offered Kalouska a candidacy for the Senate in Prague 2. However, in this district the presidential candidate Marek Hilšer is to defend the mandate. Kalousek has not shown any interest in the Senate – at least so far.
The founder and ex-head of the party, Miroslav Kalousek, got into trouble with some party members in mid-November with his statement on the X network.
When it was discovered that former ANO chairman Ivo Vondrák would run for the STAN movement in the next regional elections, Kalousek criticized Starosty and wrote that he wanted to vote for STAN in the European elections. Which is strange given the situation that he wants to run for TOP 09 in the same election.
“I wanted to vote for you, Danuše Nerudová and Jane Farský. But if you are friends with this scoundrel, no decent person can vote for you. It’s simply not possible,” he wrote in a post in mid-November, which can no longer be found in Kalouska’s profile.
The fact that the party leadership commissioned a survey from a leading domestic agency testified to the fact that the selection of candidates for the European elections for TOP 09 is a sensitive topic.
The survey, which Nauzal looked into, showed that respondents more often agreed that Kalousek would be a better senator than an MEP. The overwhelming majority of Spolu voters thought that Kalousek should not run if he threatened the coalition’s candidacy in the European elections. It was interesting that the TOP 09 voters themselves thought less of it.
For a third of Spolu voters, the collapse of the coalition in the European elections would reduce the motivation to vote for Spolu in the parliamentary elections, and it would further reduce the motivation to vote for the coalition for TOP 09 voters themselves.