Kuchtová to challenge Bursík for Green Party leadership

Martin Bursík and Dana Kuchtová, photo: CTK

Leader of the Greens, Martin Bursík, has a challenger for the post. On Wednesday, one of the environment minister’s most outspoken critics, Dana Kuchtová, said that she would stand against him in a vote to be held in September. Ms Kuchtová has accused Martin Bursík of not listening to party members, and dragging the Greens too far right. The feud between two of the Green Party’s most prominent members has been going on for months, but is Mrs Kuchtová’s decision to stand for party head personally, or politically, motivated? That’s what I asked political analyst Vladimíra Dvořáková earlier:

Martin Bursík and Dana Kuchtová,  photo: CTK
“I think the main problem is really political, and it is connected with the very character of the Green Party, which is in some sense not very well organized – there are different factions with different ideas. And I think that the main problem is really about how to practice Green politics in a Czech political environment. The conflicts are much deeper than just the conflict between two personalities, both are very strong personalities, but this is about deciding what the Green Party’s politics should be.”

And what sort of politics does Dana Kuchtová represent?

Dana Kuchtová,  photo: CTK
“Dana Kuchtová is more the representative of the Green Party’s core ideology – if I can put it like that. This means that she represents basic characteristics of the Greens as they have developed elsewhere in Western Europe. So, she is very strongly against nuclear power plants – this was her position, which she has stated very strongly. The Greens are traditionally very strongly connected with the peace movement, and in this sense the question of the US radar in the Czech Republic is very important for this part of the Green Party.”

What effect would a Kuchtová win have on the government coalition, do you think?

“It’s difficult to say, because in one sense it is much easier to be in opposition against the party leadership and to criticize them. This criticism is broadly accepted by the party, but when you become the leader of a party which makes up the government coalition, if you are going to represent that coalition, it is more difficult to find a solution and to find a simple solution. So, it is difficult to say, maybe if Dana Kuchtová does become the leader of the party, there could maybe be problems with the continuation of the coalition. There are two possibilities, either the Greens would leave the coalition and be in opposition, supporting the coalition only on some questions, or they would continue in the current coalition and accept the necessary compromises.”

And what are her chances of winning in September?

“It is very difficult to say right now, it really seems that right now the two are tied. I would say the party membership is really split half and half.”