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Home arrow newsitems arrow Czech Vote: New center-Right Citizens movements Win v. Kafka Castle Traditional Establishment's Left

Czech Vote: New center-Right Citizens movements Win v. Kafka Castle Traditional Establishment's Left

Written by ACM
Saturday, 21 October 2017
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*From Brussels to Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Stonger and quite Different than usually Expected, interesting New potential Political Patterns appear to Emerge from Today's 2017 Parliamentary Elections in the Czech Republic, that one may Clearly see, as Brightly as through a Bohemian Crystal, an Overall Image ressembling to a kind of Brand New Popular Aspiration for a version of Historic British Publicist Writer, Herbert Spencer's famous Book :  "Man versus the State", to be adequately accomodated perhaps in a Franz Kafka's "the Castle" context, if one might Dream...


+ While Hard Realities also plead for an obvious Swift from the People in favour of what may be named a "New Right", against what some Criticise as an "Establishment"'s so-called "Left", roughly speaking, (See Infra)...


++ The Additional Fact that, by an Extraordinary but Symbolic Coincidence, all this takes place while the Czech Republic currently Holds a big Responsibility as rotating President (from May to November 2017) of the PanEuropean CoE's Organisation for Democracy, Human Rights, and Rule of Law, Headquartered in Strasbourg, naturally gives an even more Spicy flavour to the Dish that Czech People have just Chosen to serve to both their Politicians and all European/Global Observers :


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 - Notoriously, the most commented Surprize of these 2017 Election, was the Stronger than Expected Win of the Frontrunner "Dissatisfied Citizens"' Movement (ANO) of atypical "Czech Donald Trump", Andrei Babis : A self-made Millionaire in Agri + Media Business, who had run from the start mainly on an Anti-Corruption platform, Critical of the Traditional Political Establishment, until he Clashed with its formerly Strongest Representatives : the "Socialists", resulting, finally, in a Sharper than initially prognosed Downfall of the Socialdemocrat party, after it provoked a Row over a Controversial Tax issue, recently.


Babis' "ANO", that he has described as "a Right-Wing party with Social Empathy", Won now the First place, with about 30 % of the Votes, and 78 MPs, (i.e. an Augmentation of +11% More in Votes, and +31 More MEPs), OutNumbering even the 50 MEPs that used to have, Previously, the Socialists, who had Led the Country's Government for Years, until now, (See Infra).


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+ In Addition, 2017 Czech Election saw an Exceptional Multiplication of various "New" Parties : More than 19 (i.e. almost the 2/3 of All Parties) !...


>>> One of them even Succeeded to Climb Up to the 3rd Rank in the Country, Winning 22 MPs, with +11% of Votes :


- The "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party, named after Nigel Farage's homonymous Group of MEPs in EU Parliament, but Linked also to Marine Le Pen's Rightists, and Founded by Tomio Okamura (a Czech-Japanese), former ChristianDemocrat/EPP of the Right, Opposed to "Islamization" and Oligarchs' Corruption, as well as supporter of Direct Voting.


+ Another New Party : "Independents and Mayors", (Liberal-Conservatives, who recently got 1 MEP in EU Parliament), Won 6 MPs at the National Czech Assembly, with 5,2% of Votes.

++ But it's a ReNovated "Pirate"' Party, which also Created a Surprize by being Propulsed to an Equivalent 3rd Rank ex-equo,  Winning, alike, 22 MPs with about 11% of the Votes, (Astonishingly, from only 1% or 2%  Before), for the First Time in its short History.


"E-Government" and Citizens' Participation in Public Decision-Making, as well as Government's Transparency and Accountability, Freedom of Information and Speech, often basic Social/Health-Care, etc., notoriously were among any real "Pirate" Party's typical Program points, already in the recent Past.


But its New, "propulsion Engine", seems to be mainly a former Anti-Corruption Whistle-Blower (who had reportedly Sacrificed his Job in order to Reveal the Truth about some Shady Politicians shamefuly Exploiting People's Money and Power), Libor Michalek : An Evangelical Christian and Economist who Recently succeeded the Exploit to Bring Together, what's Best in the "Pirates", with the "Greens", and even the "ChristianDemocrats/EPP", Unifying their support for Direct Democracy, fearless Criticism, and Moral Values, respectively, (as it has been done also for his own Election as Senator, in an Exceptional Agreement between those 3 Political Parties, earlier).


I.e. what seems to Personify, in Brief, the Main Substance of Czech People's Aspirations, all accross the entire Spectrum of Results in these October 2017 Elections (Comp. Supra and Infra)...


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Among the "Old" Parties, significantly, it's Only the Atypical social-Conservative CDS, "Civic Democratic" party, (Initially a Breakaway from the "Civic Forum"), of former President Vaclav Klaus (Right), which is Not Affected by the Fall of Pre-existing parties, and even Ameliorates its Latest score up to 11,3% (i.e. +3,6% More of Votes), Winning 25 MPs (i.e. +9 More).


But withOut Any relation to its Former 30 - 35% Vote scores, compared to which, it's now Only a Shadow of what it used to be, (while, nevertheless, it holds the Rank of 2nd Party in the country).


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All the Other Traditional Parties Fall Down sharply :  


The Worst Losses affect the Left, wih the "Socialists" (- 35 MPs Less, Reduced to 7% of Votes Only !), closely Followed by the "Communists" ( - 18 MPs Less, Reduced to 7,8% of Votes), up to the Centrists/Liberals of "TOP 09" ( - 19 MPs Less, Reduced to 5,8% of Votes).


Only the Center-Right of ChristianDemocrats/EPP Limits the Loss to Just -  4 MPs Less, with a Stagnation of Votes: -0,98%
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=> One among Various possible Combinations for a New Government Coalition in the 200 MPs Strong Parliament in Prague, most probably Led by the "Dissatisfied Citizens"' Movement (ANO) of former Minister Babis, (Comp. Supra), might Include, f.ex., the 100 MPs of the ANO (78) and of "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (22), Together, perhaps, with the 6 MPs of the "Independents and Mayors", and/or the "Pirate" party's 22 MPs, if the Czech People's most "ReNewal" overall Vote (Comp. Supra) would be given Priority.


AnOther, more "Stability"-oriented Variation, could Obviously be for the Top Winner Babis' "Dissatisfied Citizens" ANO's 78 MPs to be Simply associated with the 25 MPs of the "social-Conservatives" of the atypical "Civic Democratic Party", i.e. Totalling, all Together, an Absolute Majority of 103 MPs, possibly Strengthened Further also by the Addition of the ChristianDemocrats/EPP's 10 MPs, (i.e. = Majority of 113 MPs, in the 200-strong Parliament), and/or the "Independents and Mayors"' 6 MPs, (i.e. = Majority of 119 MPs).


However, in the Second case, such a Variation risks to leave at the Opposition :


- Not Only the heavily Defeated center-Left, of the Socialists, Communists, and Liberals (TOP 09), who Total Now only 37 MPs, (i.e. 15 + 15 + 7, respectively);


+ But Also a brand New, Potentialy politically Explosive Mixture of 44 MPs from "Freedom and Direct Democracy", and "Pirate" parties (with 22 + 22 MPs each), may be Sooner or Later joined even by Other like-minded Newcomers, (as, f.ex. the "Independents"), or ReNovated forces (not to exclude f.ex. those "ChrisianDemocrats/EPP" who recently Voted, Together with the "Greens", for a ..."Pirate" party candidate : Comp. Supra)...


And the non-negligeable Fact that, in Addition, various among those Exceptionally Numerous, 17 "New" Parties (currently Totalling More than 6,3%, including the "Greens"), which did Not Yet cross, one by one, the required 5% Threshhold in order to Enter Now in the Parliament, have adopted such Explicit Names as, f.ex., "Free Citizens", "Civic Rights", "Civic Alliance", "Citizen 2011", "H.A.V.E.L", etc., as well as "Nation-Patriotic Union", "Bloc against Islamization - Defense of Homeland", "Vote Right", "Nation Together", "National Front", etc., taken Together also with the Relevant Fact that about 40 % of Registered Voters had chosen now to Abstain, seems to Warn that the above-mentioned "Stability" variation might Fail, sooner or later.


Unless due Precaution is taken in order to Integrate in Mainstream Government Coalition politics, also, at least a Significant Part (if not all) of that Brand "New Political Mixture", clearly Resulting from all the above mentioned Facts of that Exceptional 2017 Czech Election, (Comp. Supra), in a Crystal-clear way, remindful of "Bohemian Glass", World-Famous "for its high Quality, Craftsmanship, beauty and often Innovative Designs", (according to Wikipedia)...


At any case, the New Czech Government's Foreign Minister, whoever may be finally chosen, is due to personally Chair the forhcoming PanEuropean CoE's Committee of Ministers' Summit, on November 15, in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official handover of CoE's rotating Chairmanship to the successor of the Czech Republic : Denmark.

One of the 5 or 6 EU Countries with a Government currently based on a Unity of the Right.

 

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(CoE's Officials attend a Musical event organized by the Czech Presidency of the PanEuropean body in Strasbourg, 18.10.2017 - photo by Eurofora)

 

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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


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