ANO 2011

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ANO 2011
Leader Andrej Babiš
Deputy Leaders Jaroslav Faltýnek
Petr Vokřál
Jaroslava Pokorná-Jermanová
Richard Brabec
Martin Stropnický
Chamber of Deputies Leader Jaroslav Faltýnek
Senate Leader Zdeňka Hamousová
MEP Leader Dita Charanzová
Founded 11 May 2012; 6 years ago (2012-05-11)
Headquarters Babická 2329/2 149 00 Praha 4
Think tank Institute for Politics and Society
Youth wing Young ANO[1]
Membership (2018) 3,264[2]
Ideology Big tent[3]
Populism[4]
Syncretic politics
Political position Centre[5][6] to centre-right[7][8][9]
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliation None
European Parliament group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Colours      Blue
Slogan Yes, it will get better
Chamber of Deputies
78 / 200
Senate
7 / 81
European Parliament
2 / 21
Regional councils
176 / 675
Governors of the regions
5 / 13
Local councils
1,692 / 62,300
Website
www.anobudelip.cz

ANO 2011 is a centrist[5][6] populist[10][11][12] political party in the Czech Republic founded by Andrej Babiš, the second-wealthiest person in the Czech Republic, owner of the Agrofert conglomerate, and Mafra media group. It is based on the former movement Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (Czech: Akce nespokojených občanů, ANO). "Ano" means "yes" in Czech.

History[edit]

The idea of founding a new political party came after leader and founder Andrej Babiš started talking about systemic corruption. His statements were supported by thousands of Czechs. ANO 2011 started as association in November 2011, and on 11 May 2012 ANO became an official political party in the Czech Republic.[13]

In the legislative election held on 25–26 October 2013, ANO gained 18.7% of the vote and 47 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, attaining second place behind the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD).[14]

On 29 January 2014, the Cabinet of Social Democrat Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was sworn in,[15] with ANO and the Populars (KDU–ČSL) participating as junior coalition partners to the ČSSD.[16]

On 24–25 May 2014, ANO came first nationally in the 2014 European election gaining 16.13% of votes and 4 seats,[17] joining the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in European Parliament.[18] On 10 September 2014, ANO member Věra Jourová was designated European Commissioner of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality in the Juncker Commission.[19]

In the 2014 senate and municipal elections held on 10–11 October 2014, ANO won 4 seats in the Senate. ANO was also the largest party in 8 of the 10 biggest cities in the Czech Republic including its capital, Prague.[citation needed] It currently holds mayoral offices in three largest cities in the Czech republic. Adriana Krnáčová is the first female mayor of Prague.[20] This success was later undermined when a large number of municipal coalitions broke up because of the party's disunity.[21]

On 21 November 2014, ANO was given full membership of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at the ALDE congress in Lisbon.[22]

In 2016, two parties split from ANO 2011 – Change for People and PRO 2016 (FOR 2016). The latter was joined by numerous local councilors and Mayors from ANO 2011. The new parties explained the split by citing a lack of democracy and discussion in ANO 2011.[23][24] Andrej Babiš said that members of both parties left ANO 2011 because they weren't on candidate list for regional elections in 2016 but admitted that some members or organizations of ANO 2011 may have wanted to privatize their position in the party. Radka Paulová, leader of PRO 2016, defended herself that if she had really wanted a better position on Candidate list, she would have done better to have stayed in ANO 2011. Another member of PRO 2016 admitted that conflict about Candidature for Regional Councils also played a role. She said that the main criterion for Candidates to regional councils was not professionality but loyalty.[25][26] ANO 2011 also lost one MP in July 2016 when Kristýna Zelienková left the party.[27]

ANO won 2016 regional elections and the 1st round of the 2016 senate election. The party came first in 9 regions and second in the remaining 4 regions; its victory in South Bohemia was especially surprising.[28] ANO ended up with 5 governors,[29] one of whom, the Karlovy Vary Governor Jana Vildumetzová, became Chairman of Regional Association.[30] The second round of the senate election was a disappointment to the party, as 3 candidates were elected.[31]

On 11 October 2017, MEP Pavel Telička announced his departure from the party.[32] Petr Ježek left ANO 2011 on 23 January 2018.[33]

The party won the 2017 legislative election with 30% of the votes.[34]

Babiš's Cafe[edit]

Andrej Babiš started a project, Babiš's Cafe, in June 2016. It is the party's television program that consists of interviews with party leader Andrej Babiš. He is questioned by moderator Pavla Charvátová and also answers questions that are sent by viewers.[35]

Ideology and political positions[edit]

Founded in 2011 and led by the multi-millionaire entrepreneur Andrej Babiš, ANO identifies itself as a political movement, rather than a party and does not want to be labeled on the left–right political axis. It aims to rid the country of corruption, abolish immunity for politicians, fight unemployment and improve the transportation infrastructure.[citation needed] Ideologically, the party is often placed in the centre and, in this respect, it has political similarities with the Populars (KDU–ČSL).[36][37]

Andrej Babiš stated in a post-election interview that he opposes the Czech Republic's adoption of the euro, and that ANO opposes further European integration and Brussels' bureaucracy.[38] However, Andrej Babiš stated later that he was open to adopting the euro once the Czech Republic had a balanced budget. He also pleaded for closer ties with Germany and said the Czech Republic was already ready to sign the Fiscal Compact treaty at the time of the interview.[39] In some spheres, such as tax policy, Babiš (re)introduced center-left elements to the movement's politics, including the abolition of partial tax exemption for self-employed persons and restoration of the partial tax exemption for employed pensioners. He also introduced a proposal to increase school teacher wages by 2.5%, as opposed to his ministry's original proposal for a 1% increase.[40] In the area of healthcare, Babiš has criticized public health insurance companies for their enormous spending.[41]

ANO's political position is debated among politicians and political scientists. Right-wing politicians and pundits place ANO 2011 on the left, while political scientists place it mostly in the centre.[42][43][44] Andrej Babiš has stated in an interview that ANO 2011 is "a Right-Wing party with social Empathy."[45][46][47]

ANO 2011 adopted Eurosceptic stances prior 2017 legislative election such as opposition to Euro, deeper European integration and immigration quotas.[48] The party took a more pro-EU stance after the campaign.[49][50] Daniel Kaiser of Echo24 called the party's stance towards the EU, "Euro-opportunism".[51]

Structure[edit]

The organisation of ANO 2011 has a highly centralised structure. The strongest position has the Chairman who acts independently when representing the party. The highest body of ANO 2011 is National Assembly that meets at least once in two years. Other national offices include Party Committee and the Bureau. The Bureau is led by the Chairman. Regional assemblies can elect their own Chairmen. Elected chairmen have to be approved by the Bureau before they can take the office. The Bureau also approves all candidates for elections.[52][53]

Institute for Politics and Society is a think-tank affiliated with ANO 2011. Its task is to raise new politicians for the party. Its founders also say that activity of the Institute should lead to nationwide discussion about national interests and also create space for politicians from a new generation.[54]

Young ANO is the youth wing of ANO 2011. It was established in May 2015.[55]

Election results[edit]

Chamber of Deputies[edit]

Year Leader Vote Vote % Seats +/− Place Notes Position
2013 Andrej Babiš 927,240 18.65
47 / 200
New 2nd ČSSD – ANO 2011 – KDU-ČSL
2017 Andrej Babiš 1,500,113Increase 29.64Increase
78 / 200
Increase 31 1st ANO 2011 minority
ANO 2011 – ČSSD minority

Senate[edit]

Election Candidates First round Second round Seats Total Seats Notes
Votes % Runners-up Place Votes % Place
2012 7 14,503 1.65
0 / 27
7th N/A N/A N/A
0 / 27
0 / 81
2014 1 2,060 15.6
1 / 1
2nd 3,532 49.1 2nd
0 / 1
0 / 81
By-election in Prague-10 district
2014 26 180,136 17.55
9 / 27
2nd 71,739 15.14 3rd
4 / 27
4 / 81
2016 27 154,594 17.54
14 / 27
1st 92,051 21.71 1st
3 / 27
7 / 81
2018 1 5,728 25.21
1 / 1
2nd 14,859 32.88 2nd
0 / 1
6 / 81
By-election in Trutnov district.
2018 1 2,211 12.98
0 / 1
4th  
6 / 81
By-election in Zlín district.
2018 22 147,477 13.54
10 / 27
2nd 57,500 13.75 2nd
1 / 27
7 / 81

European Parliament[edit]

Year Main Candidate European party Vote Vote % Seats +/− Place
2014 Pavel Telička ALDE 244,501 16.13
4 / 22
1st

Regional elections[edit]

Year Vote Vote % Seats Places
2016 533,061 21.05%
176 / 675
9× 1st, 4× 2nd

Local elections[edit]

Election Share of votes in % Councillors
2014
14.59
1,600
2018
14.9 1,692

Prague municipal elections[edit]

Year Leader Vote Vote % Seats +/− Place Position
2014 Adriana Krnáčová 4,574,610 22.1
17 / 65
1st Coalition
2018 Petr Stuchlík 3,893,968 15.4
12 / 65
5th

References[edit]

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External links[edit]