Decay sets in across the regions for most powerful Czech party
Published at: 2016-04-13 10:35 | Author: CIJ Journal
ANO, the political movement of the Czech finance minister Andrej Babiš, may be leading in the national polls, but it is falling apart at the regional level. The political weekly Echo24 claims ANO is losing its position in the country’s regional cities due to infighting between local representatives and alleged autocratic control from headquarters in Prague. It cites the examples of towns like Ústí nad Labem, České Budějovice, Most, Opava, Frýdek Místek where Babiš has abolished the local organizations, but to no effect.

The problem has spread to Karlovy Vary, in South Bohemia and in Prostějov. The political scientist Stanislav Balík is convinced that there is no way to stop the decay. He says that neither local nor regional elections can help ANO, and that as a political movement (rather than a classic party) it has no clear power structure and hierarchy. Rather than building a party machine, Babiš bet on winning endorsements from popular Czech personalities, but leaving the running of the movement up to himself. The one-man-show, however, is failing to produce a sustainable model of holding onto power.
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