Prague to have Pirate mayor

A new coalition will be taking over City Hall

Prague will have a new administration, after negotiations following the Oct. 5–6 elections. Local Pirate party leader Zdeněk Hřib will become the new mayor, and the Pirates will form a coalition with Praha Sobě (PS) and United Force for Prague, a group that includes TOP 09, STAN and the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL).

This gives the coalition 39 seats in 65-member City Assembly.

Hřib said he looks forward to bringing Prague into the 21st century, and that he also looks forward to cooperating with his coalition partners. He added that his team is motivated and wants to get started on its tasks.

The Civic Democrats (ODS) had slightly more votes than the Pirates, but there was no viable combination of parties willing to work with them. ANO, which has held the mayoral post for the past four years, also goes into opposition.

The Pirates have stated in the past that they oppose politicians having more than one position in district, municipal and national government bodies.

Jan Čižinský, leader of PS, and Jiří Pospíšil, local leader of TOP 09, will not be on the City Council. Pospisil will remain a member of European Parliament and chairman of the United Force for Prague club, and Čižinský will remain mayor of Prague 7 as well as chairman of the PS club.

Pospíšil said that the chairmanship post was still a strong position, as it can be used for policy and coalition negotiations.

There will be four deputy mayors: Adam Scheinherr and Pavel Vyhnánek (both PS), and Petr Hlaváček and Petr Hlubuček (both United Force for Prague), all of whom serve on the City Council.

There will also be two more members for each group on the City Council. Vít Šimral and Adam Zábranský will represent the Pirates, while Hana Marvanová and Jan Chabr will be for United Force, and Hana Třeštíková and Milena Johnová for PS.

Negotiations took three weeks after the elections. A stumbling block was Zdeněk Hřib’s relative lack of political experience, compared to the leaders of the other coalition partners.

Bohuslav Svoboda, the former mayor who led the ODS ticket for Prague, on Facebook criticized the coalition’s lack of experience on the municipal level, and said that the coalition’s priorities are not clear.

Incoming mayor Hřib, 37, is not a Prague native. He comes from Slavičín in the Zlín region. At 37 years old, he is not the youngest. Tomáš Hudeček (TOP 09) was 34.

Hřib studied medicine at the Third Medical Faculty of Charles University and has been involved in medicine and information technology since he graduated.

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