New Prague coalition signs agreement

The Pirates will take over the mayoral post later this week

The three political groups that will make up the new municipal government have signed a coalition agreement and program statement, and are set to take power at the first meeting of the new Municipal Assembly on Nov. 15.

The Pirates, Praha Sobě (PS) and the group United Force for Prague (SSP) will form a new City Council, and the Civic Democrats (ODS) and ANO will go into opposition. United Force for Prague includes TOP 09, Mayors and Independents (STAN), the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) and support from the Liberal-Environmental Party (LES) and Jan Kasl's Democrats.

The elections took place Oct. 5–6, and saw five parties or movements all getting between 15 and 18 percent each. The ODS actually came ahead of the Pirates, but lacked viable partners for a coalition. The incoming ruling coalition will have 39 of the 65 seats in the City Assembly.

Pirate leader for Prague Zdeněk Hřib will take over as mayor from Adriana Krnáčová (ANO).

At the signing, Hřib said the city was on the threshold of big changes.

“We will bring the changes that the capital deserves so we can use the potential we have,” he said. His first task will be to assess the condition of the city.

“I believe our coalition will work without any problems. We have agreed on a very good program that gives us a clear road map for the next four years,” he added.

The City Council is expected to include four deputy mayors: Petr Hlaváček (SSP) for urban development and planning, Petr Hlubučka (SSP) for environment and technical infrastructure, Adam Scheinherr (PS) for transport, and Pavel Vyhnánek (PS) for finance.

The other councilors are Vít Šimral for education and sport and Adam Zábranský for housing and transparency (both Pirates), Jan Chabr for property and property shares and Hana Marvanová for legislation, security and public administration (both SSP), and Hana Třeštíková for culture, monument protection and tourism, and Milena Johnová for social affairs and health (both PS).

The breakdown of seats is three for Pirates, and four each for United Force for Prague and Praha Sobě. The Pirates have fewer seats because they took the mayoral slot. The new City Council will meet officially for the first time Nov. 20.

As previously reported, Praha Sobě leader Jan Čižinský will remain mayor of the Prague 7 district and United Force for Prague leader Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09) will remain in the European Parliament. Neither will be on the City Council, as the Pirates oppose politicians having multiple roles. Both said they were optimistic that the coalition’s plans could be achieved in the coming four years.

Pospíšil said he was satisfied with the composition of the City Council, adding that many of the members had extensive professional experience with the issues they would be responsible for.

The new Prague coalition will focus on the completion of the ring roads, building the long-planned Metro D line, brownfield renewal and increasing housing. Other plans include planting trees fight the effects of global warming and to make efforts to involve the public more in decision-making.

The opposition ODS is expected to head an oversight committee to monitor the actions of the City Council.

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