Pundits: Election results indicate stability in local government

With the final results now out from this weekend’s municipal and Senate elections, political commentators are noting that there are is no sign of fundamental change on the Czech political scene.

Petr Fiala | Photo: Vít Šimánek,  ČTK

“Stability in local government” that is how many commentators perceive the outcome of this week’s municipal elections. Given the energy crunch, soaring inflation and growing concerns about the future, an earthquake could have been expected, political analyst Josef Mlejnek told the CTK news agency. He says that the fact that it did not happen is a sign of remarkable stability in the system of local government –and that is a good thing.

Political analyst Daniel Kunštát agrees with this view, noting that the ANO party essentially succeeded in turning the first round of the Senate elections into a referendum on the current government. But the election did not go entirely badly for the ruling coalition, he says. "It was not a phenomenal success, of course, but the parties have at least maintained their positions, which was not easy given the socio-economic and political context" Kunštát noted.

Photo: Michaela Říhová,  ČTK

According to political Jan Kubáček, the results of the Senate and local elections show that many voters perceived them as a chance to show the governing coalition a warning finger. The fact that the ANO party won in eight regional towns is a clear indication of this, as is the fact that for the first time the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party will have seats in local councils around the country, he says.

However there is general agreement that the “protest vote” that ANO leader Andrej Babiš was hoping to see did not happen.

Although the ANO party significantly improved its position in the area of local government it will still need to improve its coalition potential in many municipalities. And as regards its standing in the Senate elections –where it has 18 candidates who have made it to the second round – political analysts note that it may have a problem getting voters to come to the polls for the run-off in a weeks’ time.