Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš was unanimously re-elected leader of the ANO party on Saturday as party delegates met ahead of the parliamentary elections to be held later this year in October.
Mr Babiš was unanimously nominated by all regional parties and in his opening speech he criticised other parties in the country for teaming up together against the ANO movement following the recent elections to the Senate and regions. He called for the Czech Republic to have a greater voice in the European Union and paraphrased the US President’s slogan pledging to make the Czech Republic great again.
Jaroslav Faltýnek, the head of ANO's parliamentary party, was re-elected first Vice President of the party and Defence Minister Martin Stropnnický, Environment Minister Richard Brabec, governor of the Central Bohemian region Jaroslav Jermanová and Brno mayor Petr Vokřál were all elected by delegates as Vice Presidents.
Congress also heard speeches from Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, from Pavel Telička MEP, leader of the ANO delegation and now Vice President of the European Parliament, and from Dita Charanzová MEP who presented her thoughts on being an MEP.
Photo op pic.twitter.com/DdN69NwsmD— Petr Ježek (@JezekCZ) February 25, 2017
Confirming their long-standing position as the leading party in the opinion polls, ANO won the most votes and seats in nine of the 13 regions that were contested in the country’s regional elections and first round of Senate elections that were held in October, and took this strong position into the second round of Senate contests held a week later in which ANO won three mandates.
The party currently has 47 MPs in Parliament and since January 2014 has been in coalition government with ANO holding six ministerial posts in the cabinet including Deputy Prime Minister. ANO have four MEPs, and as the leading party in the European elections of May 2014 nominated the country’s European Commissioner.
ANO joined the ALDE Party as a full member in November 2014.
Parliamentary elections are due to be held in October 2017, with ANO continuing to lead in the opinion polls.