1st Round of CR Presidential Elections: Klaus was close

Friday and Saturday elections brought no winner. The number of votes necessary was 140, from the total 278 (three voters were absent). Klaus was however extremely close when he gained 140 votes, while Svejnar only 113. If Klaus got one more vote, he would have won.

The voting itself was full or arguing and tactics. When the lawmakers were supposed to vote on Friday, they have got themselves into a debate, whether the voting should be secret or open, which only led to accusations and rising pressure, finally ending in two voters collapse.

The second round of elections is on Friday again. The communist party plans to came up with their own candidate. They were present, but they did not take part in electing.

After the last voting being open, the method for next Friday stays unclear. Civic Democrats insist on secret vote. The candidates might be nominated tomorrow.

1st Round of Czech Presidential elections tomorrow

We give you selected quotations of both candidates, Vaclav Klaus and Jan Svejnar.

I know Svejnar very little, but I am scared of his economical opinions. He really got me down by his articles during CSFR separation.

I think there will be the radar at the Czech ground. It won’t be soon, there is a lot of things that need to be solved before.

Euro adoption will lower salaries.

Climate changes happens all the time and it always did. Now somebody wants to control it and to accept drastic disposals with immense impact on our freedom and economical and social conditions.

Let’s be proud of who we are. One man told me once: “I am proud of you being proud of the Czech Nation”

You can choose somebody for the past, or you can choose somebody for the future.

I agree with the Radar from the beginning. What is important are the conditions.

Euro adoption will lower prices.

There is global warming and the world starts to consider, how it is connected to the activity of man. It is showed by not only long-therm researches, but also by the fact it speeds up in the past ten or twenty years.

I found out, the presidential institution is a very deep symbol and people expect the loyalty will be sealed by the head of the state by having exclusively Czech citizenship.

Svejnar: I am ahead in opinion polls

Ian Willoughby from Radio Praha had a chance to make an interview with Jan Svejnar recently. We bring you the shortened version.

What do you have to offer that the incumbent Vaclav Klaus doesn’t have to offer?

“Well, there is the fact that I am above politic parties. The president here should be politically independent. I am. I have both the local and the international experience, and obviously in the world of globalisation broad international experience is important.

“I am looking more forward than backward. I pretty much do hold strong views that are aligned with those of the Western world, be it in the area of global warming, or the active role that the Czech Republic can play in the EU. So there are major differences.”

Given yours relative outsider status – and Mr Klaus’s ultimate insider status – isn’t it a disadvantage for Jan Svejnar that when it comes to horse-trading for votes, he simply has less to offer?

“You’re right, I’m not offering that. I’m offering vision, I’m offering my skills, my expertise. I believe that the parties that are supporting me – and that’s my advantage, I’m supported by a significant part of the political spectrum, from the left to the right – will do whatever is needed in good old politics, where I have no comparative advantage whatsoever. I’m focusing really on ideas, and where the country should go.”

All things considered, how does the candidate himself rate his chances?

“One has to take the dynamics into account. When I started a couple of months ago I was obviously the outsider both in opinion polls and among the members of Parliament who are going to vote. Now I am the one who is if anything ahead in the opinion polls. Many people in Parliament are seriously considering voting for me, so I think that the chances now are about fifty-fifty.”

The original article is here

Czech Republic Presidential Elections in four days

Elections MF Dnes brought us results of a questionnaire, in which they asked 281 congressmen and senators. Who would they vote for? Klaus would get 126 votes, Svejnar 102. There are 23 representatives who would vote for none, 30 of them didn’t tell.

That means, there is still enough of those, who wouldn’t tell, aren’t decided, or vote ‘against their club’. The first round of presidential elections in the Czech Republic is on Friday.

Svejnar bets he will also get some votes of the ODS; “I expect it could happen” he said for MF Dnes, where he also stated he hasn’t got a flight ticket to the USA booked: “ …because I’ll win

Klaus prospers from People’s Party and Communists don’t support Svejnar as expected: “I am a candidate, because I believe I’ll win.”

To be elected, the candidate needs 141 votes of congressmen and senators.

The first Klaus vs Svejnar duel

Teh Czech Republic Presidential elections are in 9 days already, however the very first debate of Vaclav Klaus and Jan Svejnar took place yesterday. Who expected a serious debate, which would influence decisions, was disappointed. The 75 minutes debate would be easier to call a TV show (watch here). Questions were given by the CSSD senators.

Meanwhile Svejnar kept his professional poker face, Klaus gesticulated variously, rolled his eyes and his head, when he disagreed with Svejnar.

There were no new or unexpected quotes. The debate was more about irony, performance, and banter. But some quotes are worth translating:

svejnar photo by michigan uni Svejnar

“I thought, you just don’t publish in scientific magazines, but you don’t even read them. “

“You can vote for somebody for the past, or you can vote for somebody for the future.”

klaus photo by i.treehugger Klaus

“When I red one of his publication from the 90’s, I was horrified.”

“I can guarantee knowledgeable presidency, continuity, and enforcement of authentic interests of our country.”

The questions were from themes which are well known, but controversial. Global warming, privatization, European Union or Euro. Hopefully the planned ‘real’ debate will bring more.

Svejnar: I'm willing to give up U.S. citizenship

The title is true – the economist and presidential candidate Jan Svejnar decided to give up his U.S. citizenship if he would became the Czech President. He revealed this truth this weekend to MF Dnes.

Decision, which was according to Svejnar hard, is quite surprising, as when he was confronted with this idea before by the KSCM, he said: “It is like to give up your forester-mother, when your own has forced you out.”

He said many people all over the country, with whom he debated, made him to change his mind.

Svejnar attacks Klaus in His book

Both the Presidential candidates in the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus and Jan Svejnar, released books before the elections.

Svejnar wanted to get the book published as fast as possible, however because of publisher’s problem it won’t be published until Friday. But we already know the basis of Svejnar’s message – it is Klaus’ fault the Czech Republic got into reccession in 1990’s.

Svejnar labeled Klaus as the direct contravener for bad salary situation in the CR: “due to Klaus’ failure the salaries are every year 10-20% lower than should be.”

Klaus, in his book, contrasts ‘Svejnar’s’ data with ‘his’, as according to him the reforms in 1992-96, during his prime minister secretaryship, increased salaries by 38%.

Klaus in his book focuses primarily on past economics, Svejnar also focuse on his vision of future development. This is also criticized by Svejnar – according to him Klaus belongs to the past.

Interview With Jan Svejnar

“It is time to unblock our political scene” says Jan Svejnar for Alexander Kramer, Pravo 22-12-2007. We give you the shortened English version here. Who is Svejnar?

Mr. Professor, when you say you’ll bring Vaclav Klaus down, don’t you just give us that ‘American’ strong rhetoric?

jan svejnar It is not just rhetoric, I believe myself – I have a strong support of the CSSD, SZ and two senate clubs. And I suppose the trend in will grow.

It seems the votes of the communist party will be the decisive ones. Do you think you get them?

At least I think I represent for them the ‘lesser evil’. I have a deeply social feeling. The basic difference between me and Vaclav Klaus is I say there are things that the market can’t do, and for social wealth it is necessary to support the market with suitable state solutions.

Communists definitely don’t like you for the Radar…

Vaclav Klaus is for the radar too! But Klaus sees it as a part of our relationship with the USA, meanwhile I see it as a part of NATO and EU inter-relations.

You have said: “To win over Vaclav Klaus is in the interest of the Czech Republic”. Why?

OK, I’ll come back to what I’ve already said: we live in the fast-globalizing world, in more and more competitive environment. The best strategy, how to further our interests, is to actively participate on all the actions which are in progress now. And what is Klaus’ relation to the EU, is well-known.

Does Vaclav Klaus harm the reputation of the Czech Republic?

I’ll leave this on you and your readers. But if you look at how his various statements are commented in the world, the answer suggests itself.

Are you for or against Prague Olympics?

Only in the case we could organize it in a way it wouldn’t be a financial loss. If we couldn’t, we should postpone the candidacy.

Tolerance of people who believe or don’t believe in God is apparent in civilized countries. Are you an atheist, who tolerates believers, or vice versa?

I’m somewhere in the middle. That means – I’m an agnostic – a person, who on question, whether God exists or not, answers: I don’t know.

Why do you want to become the president, Mr professor?

In America, people are educated in a way to believe in ideals and service for the community is regarded as something that deserves respect. Definitely there is also personal satisfaction that a good job gives to a man.

Does the presidential post have something magical inside for you?

Yes, I can’t deny that. But still, in some phases of my life, I would have to turn the offer down. Now I am in a situation that I can afford that and at the same time I think I am able to do good for the Czech Republic.

Proposal of Change of Czech Electing system

jiri pospisil The party which wins the elections to the parliament should get a few more parliamentary chairs. So called bonus for winners is probably going to appear among the new set of proposals, how to change the voting system, and so lower the risk of after-elections stalemate.

“We work on some variations, how to solve the thing. We explore, for example, how the winner’s bonus (the system works well i.e. in Italy) works in European countries.” minister Pospisil ( ODS, Civic Democratic Party ) announced.

Pospisil, Czech Minister of Justice, announced the decision of passing the new law will be on whole situation, which implies the system is designed so it wouldn’t harm the small parties.

Prague's Lord Mayer is (again) Pavel Bem

Prague people know their new Lord Mayer. Yesterday 49 representatives out of 69 voted for Pavel Bem, who became Prague’s Lord Mayer for the second time. 20 votes were not valid.

Civic Democrat Pavel Bem was the only candidate for the post because Frantisek Hoffman from the Communist party stood down his candidature the last moment.

Since 1784 Prague has had 40 Lord Mayers. Pavel Bem, a phychiatrist, is the fourth man in such a long history who defended his post for the second time. He promises especially big changes in traffic.

Victory for Civic Democrats

Civic Democrats were really successful in both the municipal and Senate elections. Their victory in Prague means that Civic Democrats can rule without a coalition with other political parties. Social democrats gained 42 out of 70 seats in the town council.

Social democrats in Prague headed by Pavel Bem promise to improve public transport in the city, to finish ring roads, to increase the number of police officers in the city and to create metropolitan police.

In the municipal elections in the Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party gained 34,7% of votes, Social Democratic Party 16,3%, Communists 10,9%, Christian Democrats 5,9%, Green Party 4,7%. Independents got 24% of votes. More then 46% people came to vote.

26 candidates of Civic Democrats (in 27 election districts) continue in the second round of Senate election. If they win at least 14 seat in the second round, it would mean a majority of one political party in Senate for a first time in history.

Municipal elections start today

Today and tomorrow people in the Czech Republic can vote their representatives in their towns and villages, in some towns also representatives in the Senate of the Czech Republic.

There are 195 political parties and groups candidating in the municipal elections in 6225 towns and villages. 201 128 candidates (70 % men and 30% women) apply for 62 500 positions in the whole CR. The oldest candidates are at the age of 94 years.

Prague people will also decide who will be the leader of the municipal authorities in Prague. One of the six candidates for the post of the Lord Mayer is present Lord Mayer Pavel Bem. Preferences of political parties differ a lot, these two days elections may decide about the future face of Prague.

The new government and the coalition deal is set

The elections to Chamber of Deputies was three weeks ago and today was signed a coalition agreement of right wing parties: Civic Democrats (ODS), Christian union (KDU-CSL) and Green Party (SZ). All minister seats are divided and the government programme is created.

Prime minister is Mirek Topolanek, the leader of ODS, his party has 9 minister seats. KDU has three seats – Ministry of the country, Ministry of Defence and Culture. Greens has Environment, Education and Head seat of Legislative Government Council. The rest is for ODS.

The coalition deal contains conjunction of coalition programs and also an agreement that all parties will have work uniformly until the end of electoral term, even the coalition will lose the government. Deal presents among other open and friendly relationships with European Union and NATO, free of charge education, a simplification of the law, restriction of legislative immunity, unitary tax, the end of the rent control or bigger focusing at environment.

Great success of Green Party

Green Party conduct by Martin Bursik has a great success. It is for the first time that non-Parliament party has become a member of Parliament in Czech Republic. With their 6,29 % the Party has exceeded required 5 % to have any seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

Another great success is that this is for the first time that any Green Party has become a member in a Chamber of Deputies in a Parliament in any former communistic state in the world.

Elections results

The election to Chamber of Deputies is finished and there are results:

ODS       :—————————————————- 35,38 %
CSSD      :————————————————32,32 %
KSCM     :——————- 12,81 %
KDU-CSL:———- 7,22 %
SZ           :———6,29 %

Other Parties has less than 5% and threfore they have no seat in Chamber of Deputies.

That’s how 200 seats in Chamber of Deputies are divided:

ODS 81, KDU-CSL 13, SZ 8, CSSD 74, KSCM 26.
This means that the results are a draw.
The winner of the elections ODS has with right-wing and most probably coalition Parties (KDU+CSL, SZ) exactly 100 seats as well as CSSD and KSCM. It means that ODS+KDU-CSL+SZ has hardly no chance to create the Governmnent approved by new composition of Chamber of Deputies.

ODS – Civic Democratic Party
CSSD – Czech Social Democratic Party
KSCM The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
KDU-CSL Christian Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party
SZ- Green Party

Elections starts today

Voting rooms will be opened this day from 2 PM and voters can decide about leaders of Czech Republic for next four years.

The election to Chamber of Deputies are most important elections of all. Czech Republic has also Senate elections, Region elections, Municipal elections and Elections to Europe Parliament (Europe Union). It is expected that during new government new elections will be created: (straight) President elections. There is also an option of making a referendum, but it was used only once during existence of Czech Republic – a decision to become Czech Republic a part of European Union.

Elect candidates will become members of the Chamber of Deputies and they will decide about a new structure of the government. Czech Chamber of Deputies has 200 seats. Members are voted by comparative representation method. A Party has to have over 5 per cents to become a Parliament Party – to have some member in Parliament.

Voting rooms are open until 10 PM on Friday, on Saturday it will be from 8 AM to 2 PM. Voting results should be known during Saturday evening. Czech Republic laws don’t allow re-counting of votes.

Parliament election starts this Friday

It is only five days to polling day. This day is last for publishing of election preferences. Next day where preferences can be shown is Saturday, when election will end.

Inquiries was made by four agencies and companies. It is CVVM, STEM, Factum Invenio and SC&C. Their last surveys was between 1st May (Stem) to 25th May (SC&C).

Only one thing is common: Which Parties out of 26 will get to Parliament. It is (from left to right) The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), Green Party, Christian Democratic Union –
Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-CSL) and Civic Democratic Party (ODS). Other Parties will not reach 5 per cents required for membership in Parliament.

But as survey says is not clear a success in elections. Each surveyor company has different results in number of per cents and sequence.
It is expected that KDU-CSL will have between 5,5% and 9% votes, Green Party from 7,1 to 10,5%, KSCM 12,1% – 17,3%, CSSD 24,2% – 28,5% and ODS from 26,7% – 32%.

It is not certain which Party will win elections: ODS or CSSD. That also means that there is more variants for coalition. Most expected are ODS+KDU-CSL, ODS+KDU+Green Party, CSSD+KSCM (or only passive KSCM support of CSSD), CSSD+Green Party+KDU-CSL. Other variants are not so probable like ODS+CSSD.

ODS and CSSD are biggest rivals in this election. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek (CSSD) reduced large gap between chances of winning ODS and defeat of CSSD to a minimum in couple of months. Political duels of Jiri Paroubek (CSSD) and Mirek Topolanek (ODS) in discussions is very equal.

If nothing happens, certain winner in these elections will be known after the end of voting – most probably from Saturday to Monday.

Two Parties abdicated from elections

Two non-parliament Parties has ended a fight for voters.

Ceska Pravice (The Czech rights) has abdicated this Wednesday. A leader of the Party Jan Simkanic said that their voters should vote Civic Democrats (ODS). Ceska Pravice had voting number seven and run in seven regions. Simkanic explained that the abdication was made as way how to avoid to Communistic party (KSCM) and Social Democrats (CSSD) to win the votes.

Second party has abdicated yesterday. It is Helax – Ostrava se bavi (Helax – Ostrava amuse oneself). This truly rag political party says that their purpose is done – to arouse public notice. The party had as well as Ceska Pravice almost no chance to get to the Parliament. Election manager of the Party says that their voters should support Parties, what can smash KSCM and CSSD.

Political challenge in old style

Prime minister Jiri Paroubek (CSSD) challenged Mirek Topolanek (ODS), leader of strongest opposition party on duel in time of coming elections. Paroubek used old style: He send a message of challenge to political debates in medias send by historically dressed delegates in historical chariot. They arrived to office of ODS and offer to Topolanek weapons: Sword, pistols and election programme. Delegates also brought recommendation of Paroubek to Topolanek to choose election programme.

Leader of Civic democrats (ODS) didn’t want to react, then he accepted. All it was happened because Paroubek says that Topolanek avoids Paroubek’s challenges, but Topolanek refused this accusation.

“This kind of challenge is little bit a fun,” says Paroubek.
But challenge was accepted. Fortunately Topolanek truly chose election programme as a weapon – otherwise there would be chance to lose one or two of strongest politicians at Czech scene.