Commentary V4

New party founded by Klaus Jr. is all set to launch

Preparations for the introduction of the upcoming new right-wing party of Václav Klaus Jr. are being finalized in Prague. More specifically, it should be a political movement.

Klaus refused to disclose details about the party before the 10th, but The the official launch of the party, which some say is more of a movement than a party, will take place in the congress hall near the Prague V Tower. According to confidential information attained by the daily Mladá fronta DNES, a large number of senior politicians and regional representatives have been approached by Klaus and his team. 

“There's a lot of enthusiasm. We are in the midst of the preparations. Our rivals won’t have it easy,” said Václav Klaus Jr.

A cardiac surgeon named Jan Pirk, ODS deputy-turned physician Boris Šťastný, and economist Markéta Šichtařová are rumoured to be helping Klaus with the organisation of his new party, though they will be granted limited power. 

Former Czech President Václav Klaus will also take part, taking the role of foreign affairs advisor. He won’t be taking a leadership role, however. 

Tensions between father and son emerged when Klaus Jr. was expelled from the Civic Democrats, the party co-founded by his father. The former president hoped the party would elect a list of candidates in time to participate in the EP elections, with son and father both appearing on the list, the rest of the posts being filled by people close to the Václav Klaus Institute. The plan didn’t come to fruition after Klaus Jr. and his team failed to identify one party to run with and because of their general lack of interest in the European Parliamentary elections. 

Eventually, Klaus  and Klaus Jr. struck a compromise: the former president will continue to travel internationally, meeting leaders such as Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán to promote the party. “Klaus won’t have a say in domestic affairs,” revealed a source closely affiliated with the Václav Klaus Institute. 

The civic movement will be staffed by a management of experts, allowing Klaus Jr. to prevent the influx of failed careerists, unsuccessful regional politicians and ODS members. The name of the party, however, is shrouded in secrecy. Klaus JR. posted a social media survey openly inviting followers to come up with suitable name suggestions at the end of April, but according to insiders, the party is debating  four possible ideas. 

Would the party put forward candidates for the local elections? Klaus Jr. and his team have proven reluctant to provide answers so far. Though the leader seems a strong advocate for participation, some around him disagree. They argue that it’s very difficult to win against established parties, movements, or even regional candidates in elections of this kind. 

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