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TOP 09: catching up with past glory

13.10.2017


A host of election polls suggest that TOP-09 will be fighting for its survival in the Chamber of Deputies this year as it balances on the edge of the 5% threshold. One of the main reasons is undoubtedly the rather unwise choice for the new chair, Miroslav Kalousek, whose dubious reputation may have put off some voters, especially the young electorate that was so in thrall to the former and honorary chair, Karel Schwarzenberg. While the party is still trying to cash in on Mr Schwarzenberg’s political charisma by, for example, using visuals that picture his iconic bow tie, the change in leadership is quite conspicuous. To compensate, TOP-09 skilfully has relied on its young social-media guru Dominik Feri, a 21-year-old Facebook showman who tends to curry favour among the youngest generation. However, it’s worth noting that Mr Ferri is listed last (35th) on the Prague ballot, so he will have to depend on preferential votes from his fans. His boss, Miroslav Kalousek, will be up against archenemy Andrej Babiš in the Central Bohemian Region, while Karel Schwarzenberg heads the Prague ballot.

Marek Ženíšek, a particularly popular MPs, leads the ballot list in the Plzeň Region, the TOP-09 stronghold, where he faces Karla Šlechtová, the Minister for Regional Development, and Milan Chovanec, the Minister of the Interior. The former TOP-09 health minister, Leoš Heger, will be running in the Karlovy Vary Region.

As far as women are concerned, TOP-09 has picked out one of the youngest MPs, Ms Markéta Pekarová Adamová, to front – with the party chair Miroslav Kalousek – the rather awkward campaign spots. Some female MPs coincidentally announced their departure from politics a while ago. These have included the likes of Jitka Chalánková and the former party whip, Anna Putnová.

The party mostly stars reliable old-hands, and pitches itself as a conservative and consistent party combining old and new faces. To what extent this will be appreciated by the electorate remains to be seen in just over a week.


Radka Lang

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