Election fever taking hold | E15.cz

Election fever taking hold

Mayors and Independents movement is to
stress competent public administration and
transparency, says party
leader Petr Gazdík
Mayors and Independents movement is to stress competent public administration and transparency, says party leader Petr Gazdík
ZDROJ: Anna Vackova, E15
Pavel Otto

Pavel Otto

The starting pistol for the October regional elections has already been fired. The parties are getting into their stride. At stake is how many governorships they will be able to boast of once over the finishing line. Arch rivals ČSSD [the Social Democrats] and ANO have the biggest ambitions. The former, however, are not disguising the fact that they do not expect to match their 2012 success when they won nine regions and 11 governorships. Seven regions would be seen as a success.

Andrej Babiš’s ANO movement, a debutant in the regional elections, is targeting five governorships. The Mayors and Independents [STAN] are, like the Christian Democrats, aiming for three. The hardest battles are expected in Central Bohemia and South Moravia.

ANO has by now chosen its regional leaders. It has lined up more than 700 candidates to fight for seats. Billionaire businessman Babiš repeated that he had failed to talk any entrepreneurs and managers into becoming candidates. “I couldn’t talk around even one,” he said during last week’s ANO conference in Prague, which officially launched the party’s campaign. ANO’s HQ expects it to cost some 60 million crowns. “We prefer to have a lower target and a better result. If we were to get five governors, that would be a success. But maybe we can have more,” added Babiš.

ANO wants to concentrate its campaign on health, education, transport infrastructure, social services and security. “Our programme is about common sense and solving problems,” declared the ANO party leader.

STAN is also making no secret of its poll ambitions. Last time around it won Liberec region. This time it hopes to pick up South Moravia, Zlín and, most particularly, Central Bohemia. “A better array of candidates I could not imagine,” said movement leader Petr Gazdík, appraising his line-up.

STAN is to mainly stress competent public administration and transparency. “That’s how things go in those places where our mayors serve. And now we want to carry it over to the regions,” added Gazdík.

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