Czech Pirates are joining the new government!
In a momentous vote, the Czech Pirates (Česká pirátská strana) approved their participation in the forming five-party coalition government. Thus set to make the Czechs the very first Pirate Party being a member of a government; in the entire world.
In early October, the election took place. And for the Czech Pirates, it was an extremely bittersweet victory. They run on a joint ticket together with the STAN party (Mayors and Independents) and with 15,6 % of the vote got 37 MPs in the 200-seat lower house. Problem being that due to heavy preferential voting by the STAN voters, seats in the Parliament are now split very unevenly: 33 for STAN and only 4 for Pirates. Which is a big loss for the Pirates, who previously held 22 seats.
But this joint ticket fulfilled its main purpose – getting the current oligarch PM out of office. Three other parties also joined forces and formed the SPOLU coalition. Now these two blocks, Pirates+Mayors as well as SPOLU negotiated and signed a coalition agreement. The Czech President already asked leader of the stronger SPOLU to negotiate the government majority and his cabinet. With this Pirate vote, taking place over this past weekend, the process is closed and the government can be formed the minute ministers for all positions are chosen.
And now, the Czech Pirates’ press release, elaborating on the details:
Prague, November 15, 2021 – In a nationwide vote, all the members of the Pirate Party approved the text of the coalition agreement, and thus the entry of the Pirates into the forming government. 82.1 % of voters supported the proposal (888 out of 1,082 votes). Voting recorded a record turnout, with 90.7 % of Pirates taking part. That is 1082 out of 1193.
“I thank all the Pirates who took part in the democratic vote on our party’s contribution to shaping the future of this country. I see the joint decision to join the government as a great commitment to do the best job possible. And it is also a commitment for Pirate Party members to our voters who have given us confidence in the election. Of course, we will defend not only their interest, but the interest of all the citizens of this country,” said the President of the Pirates, Ivan Bartoš, adding that the coalition of Pirates and Mayors gained the trust of 840,000 voters.
“These people expect us to do our best to promote the program we have offered them. Thanks to the support of voters and our membership base, we can and will actively do so. We all have a lot of work ahead of us; we are facing several crises: in addition to COVID also the energy and economic ones. But we are determined to face them and look for the best solutions for this country. In addition, we have a clear plan for the ministries entrusted to us and we will continue to play the role of a watchdog of democracy, to oversee compliance with the agreed boundaries of the government’s program. We shall also keep our set course in this government,” added Bartoš.
The Pirates will defend the interest of citizens in three government positions: in the leadership of the Ministry of Regional Development (MMR) together with the new field of digitization, in the leadership of the Legislative Council of the Government (LRV) and last but not least at the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MZV).
Ivan Bartoš specified the main priorities at the Ministry of Regional Development: “We will work for a solution to the ongoing housing crisis, a transparent system for the distribution of public contracts and subsidies, as well as a meaningful and efficient use of European funds. Support for the neglected regions is also crucial for us, together with an increase in the quality of life of the citizens there. Digitization of public administration is also badly needed; making life easier for people and officials alike while also saving billions.”
According to him, the Pirates in the Government’s Legislative Council will protect the rights of citizens and ensure the quality of future laws. “Our goal is to avoid legislative scraps or embezzlement, make sense of the laws, quantify their effects and reduce bureaucracy. We shall not repeat the mistakes of previous governments when the measures against COVID were so poorly written that they were swept away by the courts and people had no idea which rules were actually in force,” the chairman of the Pirates described.
“At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we want to ensure a return to value-oriented foreign policy and seek a foreign policy consensus on the domestic political scene. Economic diplomacy is also important for us, focusing on science, research and innovation, as well as the professionalization of the diplomatic service. We will work to fulfil the government’s program statement, for example to adopt the Magnitsky Act for better enforcement of human rights protections, “Bartoš concluded.
On behalf of the PPI member parties and board, allow us to congratulate to the Czech Pirates on this momentous success!