Prague - Adriana Krnáčová, the new Prague mayor, representing the political movement ANO of the finance minister Andrej Babiš, has enraged the oppositional councillors in refusing, before being elected to her office, to give a speech on her programme priorities and answer the questions of her opponents.
Krnáčová, the very first woman at the Prague mayor‘s office, received the votes of the town’s new governing coalition of the ANO, Social Democrats (ČSSD) and the Three-Party Coalition (Greens, Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents). The Communists and the Pirates abstained from voting and the ODS and the TOP 09 which had, in the last legislature, their own town mayors, voted against Krnáčová.
The new coalition governing Prague enjoys in the town’s council a simple majority of one vote. Krnáčová’s has three deputies: Eva Kislingerová (ANO) for the finances, Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) for transport and EU funds and Matěj Stropnický (Three-Party Coalition, Greens) for the territorial planning.
„My aim is to have Prague without links to the dark past,“ Krnáčová said in allusion to the large number of questionable public contracts with opaque financing from the times of the ODS and TOP 09 governments.
One of the councillors who have criticized Krnáčová for not presenting her programme priorities before the vote was the former Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) who is investigated by the police in connection with the Opencard smart card for Praguers.
„There could be two reasons for it,“ Svoboda said. „Either the contempt for all of us or the inability to say anything.“
Krnáčová defended herself by saying that she had prepared an after-vote speech and didn’t want to impede the inauguration’s process.
After having elected all heads of the town council‘s committees, the councillors haven’t succeeded in voting the president of the control committee. The Social Democrats voted against Jakub Michálek (Pirates) and, on the contrary, supported Prague ex-mayor Tomáš Hudeček (independent, ex-TOP 09).
On the other hand, Alexandra Udženija (ODS) criticized the fact that the session had to be interrupted for the whole day because of the voting in Prague 4 where the Three-Party Coalition‘s leader Petr Štěpánek has been elected mayor of this Prague district. The representatives of the new town’s coalition answered by saying that the Prague ex-mayor Hudeček had convened the Prague council at the same time purposefully.
To the interior ministry, Krnáčová has presented a demand for personal bodyguards because she is afraid to become a target of an attack in connection with the changes she is preparing at the Prague town hall.
The interior minister Milan Chovanec has stressed that bodyguards are a rather expensive matter and it is not automatic for the public persons to receive them.
„Mrs. Krnáčová has to explain the exact character of her fealing threatened,“ Chovanec said. „Our experts will evaluate if the conditions to be given bodyguards have been fulfilled.“