Parties sign Prague coalition deal, ending months of stalemate
Prague representatives of the Together coalition, the Pirate Party and the Mayors and Independents signed a coalition agreement on Wednesday, which outlines the form of their cooperation for the next four years of the city’s administration. The signing follows five months of tough negotiations.
Since the previous election in 2018, Prague has been governed by a council made up of a coalition representing the Pirate Party, the Praha Sobě movement, the Christian Democrats and the TOP 09 party.
However, the latter two parties formed a coalition with the Civic Democrats in last year’s election, under the name Together, and were unwilling to work in the same line-up in subsequent negotiations. Talks therefore dragged on for an unprecedented five months before Wednesday, when the Pirates, the Mayors and Independents and the Together coalition signed an agreement to work together in governing the Czech capital.
Bohuslav Svoboda of the Civic Democrats will be in charge of Prague’s main executive body, the Council of City Hall, as new mayor. Two other Civic Democrats will be represented in the council, along with two TOP 09 representatives, four Pirate Party members, two from the Mayors and Independents and one Christian Democrat.
Outgoing Mayor Zdeněk Hřib will be one of them, holding the positions of councillor for transpor and deputy mayor.
“As Prague’s outgoing mayor who led the city through various crises, I am truly glad that after all of the ups and downs, we have managed to sign this new coalition agreement. All respective parties had to make concessions in the end, but I believe that this is fair towards the result of the elections.”
Among the other well-known figures represented in the council will be Alexandra Udženija, as deputy mayor for social affairs, housing and health, or Jiří Pospíšil, the former chairman of the TOP 09 party, who is set to take charge of the capital’s culture, travel and monuments among other things.
The new coalition intends to focus on three key areas, the chairman of the Together coalition’s representatives said. Namely, deepening cooperation in the transport sphere with the state, energy independence and security and, finally, housing.
The new coalition holds 36 mandates in the 65-seat Prague City Assembly. Outgoing councillor Hana Marvanová, who ran on the ballot for the Together coalition, will not be represented in the new coalition agreement. Her refusal to accept Bohuslav Svoboda as mayor helped drag the coalition talks on.
One aspect that was stressed at the signing was that the coalition will offer eight of the City Hall committee chairs to the opposition. These include the committees on industrial development and funding. Meanwhile, Praha Sobě, will hold chair the finance, minorities, sport and leisure committees.