Senior ANO Figures Acknowledge Disappointing Results In Senate Elections
ANO party had lost the second round of the elections for one-third of the Senate. Photo Credit: Freepik
Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) – Speaking in a debate on Prima TV today, ANO deputy chairman Karel Havlicek acknowledged that his party had lost the second round of the elections for one-third of the Senate, but denied that the result should be interpreted as a referendum on the government of Petr Fiala (ODS), due to the low turnout.
The senior government Civic Democrats (ODS) won the Senate elections this weekend, followed by their junior government partner, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL). ANO, with 17 finalists in the runoff vote, could have potentially had 20 senators, but will in fact only have five.
“We must objectively say we have lost. I congratulate the SPOLU coalition (ODS, KDU-CSL, TOP 09) that has won,” said Havlicek. At the same time, he pointed to ANO’s successful showing in the first round, as well as in the local elections held simultaneously a week ago.
“We cannot consider the runoff (Senate) vote a referendum (on the government),” he added.
ODS deputy chairman and Transport Minister Martin Kupka said in the same debate that he agreed with Fiala’s view that the election was a personal loss for ANO leader and ex-PM Andrej Babis. He also noted that the opposition had repeatedly characterised the elections as a referendum on the current government during their campaign.
“Now they would like to take that back,” said Kupka. “I never agreed with this idea, but if we accept that it was a referendum on the government, then the government has been successful.”
On Saturday, speaking to journalists in Karlovy Vary, Babis acknowledged his disappointment at ANO’s performance in the second round, but also pointed to positive results in local elections.
Rejecting Petr Fiala’s claim that he had personally lost the election, Babis stressed that he had not run for the Senate and never would.
Reacting to the Senate election results on Saturday, Fiala said that the SPOLU coalition won 20 of the 27 seats in the Senate, if all their supported candidates in the elections are counted.
SPOLU intends to announce its strategy for the presidential elections on Monday.
“The strategy can mean either our own candidate or support for another candidate or circle of candidates,” said Kupka.
ANO will announce its decision on a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections on 27 October, Babis also said on Saturday, adding later on Czech Television that the result of the Senate elections would not have an influence on the decision. This runs counter to suggestions that Babis may be unlikely to run for president if he is not assured of victory. Babis is currently the favourite in polls for first-round voting intention, but most polls indicate that he is trailing General Petr Pavel in the second.