Credit: Freepik

Dozens of Former MPs and Ministers Running In European Parliament Elections

Dozens of former members of the Czech government and parliament are running in the European Parliament (EP) elections to take place in the Czech Republic on June 7 and 8, as well as eight current MPs, according to a CTK analysis of the candidates.

Voting will be open in the Czech Republic on Friday 7 June (2pm-10pm) and Saturday 8 June (8am-2pm). As in the previous elections in 2019, Czech voters will elect 21 MEPs (out of a total of 720).

A total of 675 candidates are contesting the 21 Czech MEP seats in the elections, roughly 32 candidates per seat.

Every country has to use a proportional voting system for the European Parliament elections. In addition, the Czech Republic uses preferential voting, which gives voters the option to indicate their preferences within the party list they choose.

There exists only one national constituency in the Czech Republic, so the lists will be the same for all voters, regardless of the region.

On the candidate list for the opposition ANO are Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Klara Dostalova, along with MPs Jaroslav Bzoch, Jaroslava Pokorna Jermanova and Julius Spicak.

The opposition far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) have fielded MP Marcel Dlask, MP Ondrej Kolar is running for the governing Spolu coalition (ODS, KDU-CSL, TOP 09), and Mayors and Independents (STAN) have fielded Josef Flek and Lucie Potuckova, who may be replaced in the Chamber of Deputies by European Affairs Minister Martin Dvorak.

The election candidates for the junior government Pirate Party include former MPs Mikulas Ferjencik and Frantisek Kopriva, and for STAN the list includes Jan Farsky. The joint list of SPD and Tricolour, led by former MEP Petr Mach, also includes former MEPs Zuzana Majerova and Jaroslav Holik. The candidate for the Club of Committed Non-Party Members is its chairman, former TOP 09 MEP Frantisek Laudat, and SEN 21 are fielding former senator and rector of Charles University Vaclav Hampl. Jiri Valenta and Jan Klan, former Communist MPs, and Zdenek Jandejsek, an organiser of the agricultural protests, are on the list for the Stacilo! coalition.

Former members of the government are on the Social Democrats’ candidate list, headed by former foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek and including another party deputy head, Daniela Ostra, former Social Democrat PM and European Commissioner Vladimir Spidla, former minister and senator Jiri Dienstbier, former minister Michaela Marksova, former vice-president of the European Parliament Libor Roucek, and former MEP Zuzana Brzobohata.

The small extra-parliamentary Czech Sovereignty Social Democracy, which is currently involved in a dispute with the Social Democrats over the similarity of the two parties’ names, is led by another former Social Democrat Prime Minister, Jiri Paroubek. Behind him on the list are former senators Petr Gawlas and Vladimir Dryml and former MP Olga Havlova, as well as former Liberec Regional Governor Stanislav Eichler, chair of the Patients’ Union, Lubos Olejar, and former chair of the Football Association Jan Obst.

Jindrich Rajchl’s PRO movement also has former Social Democrats on its candidate list, including Michal Hasek, a former MP and South Moravian governor, ex-MP Miroslav Svoboda, and former senator Jozef Regec. Other PRO candidates include former SPD and Tricolour MP Tereza Hyt’hova, choreographer Petr Zuska, and retired hockey player Vladimir Ruzicka.

Prisaha, a small party led by former police officer Robert Slachta, standing in coalition with Motorists for Ourselves, a Prague single-issue party, is fielding former Social Democrat Culture Minister Antonin Stanek and economist Vladimir Pikora on its list.

Current SPD MEP Hynek Blasko, former ODS MP and prominent lockdown opponent Jiri Janecek, and chairman of the Republicans and former MP Miroslav Sladek are all running for the Alliance of National Forces.

Several former presidential candidates will also compete in the European elections. In addition to Dienstbier, these include Danuse Nerudova, lead candidate on the STAN ticket, businessman Karel Divis and arms dealer Jiri Hynek, who are running for the Free Citizens Party, and Petr Hannig, the chairman of the Rozumni party, who will stand for the Alliance of National Forces.

The full list of parties and candidates can be found here.

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