Analyst: Potential coalition with Okamura to dominate intra-ANO debate

Alena Schillerová and Andrej Babiš

A Kantar CZ poll published on Sunday indicates that opposition leaders ANO now enjoy no less than 34.5 percent support, with coalition leaders the Civic Democrats down to just 12.5 percent. Another new survey indicates the lowest level of satisfaction with politics in general since the pandemic. I spoke to political scientist Petr Just, beginning with the high support for ANO.

Petr Just | Photo: ČT24

“The trend of rising preferences of ANO on one hand and the decreasing preferences of the ruling parties on the other has been here for some months already. So it’s not a big surprise. It concurs with other polls that we have been seeing in the past weeks and months.”

The news for the coalition parties is mixed. One or two of them improved in terms of their support levels, but the government leaders the Civic Democrats are only on 12.5 percent now, according to this poll. How nervous will they be right now at the Civic Democrats’ headquarters?

“Well, I think their nervousness should become quite urgent once they see that the polls are not moving back up at the beginning of the second period of this electoral term.

“We are just now at the mid-term stage. It is quite usual in the mid-term that parties do the most unpopular decisions, they bring in the most unpopular policies.

“But this is why they do it at the mid-term stage, so they would have the second half of the electoral term to improve their image and the perception of voters.

“So the government would now need to go in front of the people, maybe go to the regions, to try to explain what they reforms they have brought in are about.

“They need to explain that there might be some short-term negative impacts of the reforms they’ve introduced – but they should persuade people that there will be long-term positives from these policies. This is, in my opinion, missing right now.”

Another new poll indicates that the level of satisfaction with politics in general is now the lowest that it has been since early 2021, during the Covid crisis. Will that be music to the ears of the opposition?

“Sure, and I would be surprised if it wasn’t. Naturally the opposition need to reflect the polls that are showing the government’s poor performance or the poor level of overall satisfaction with the state of the country.

“So I suppose that the opposition will now, especially as we are headed towards another pre-election campaign – this time for European Parliament elections – try to show that the government and the government parties are not fit enough to run the country, so they also shouldn’t be fit enough to represent the country in the European Parliament.

“As I said, I would be surprised if they didn’t use this argumentation and these data.”

Obviously the next general elections are a long way off, but still, what do you think are the chances of a coalition of ANO and the Freedom and Direct Democracy party of Tomio Okamura? That’s something that I’ve been hearing people discussing recently.

Radim Fiala and Tomio Okamura | Photo: René Volfík,

“Yes, this will be one of the most frequently discussed issues in the second half of the electoral period, especially regarding the position of ANO.

“We know that Freedom and Direct Democracy are now trying to show their preparedness to enter the cabinet after the elections. They are hiring non-partisan experts who, in my opinion, they are trying to present as future potential ministerial candidates.

“However I think there will be a certain Sophie’s choice on the side of ANO. It’s a very broad movement and is very heterogeneous regarding the potential of cooperation with Freedom and Direct Democracy.

“So in my opinion this will be a very sensitive intra-ANO discussion. It will dominate most of the intra-party talk within ANO in the upcoming two years.”