New Senate Groupings Take Shape Following Elections

One third of the upper house of the Czech parliament was re-elected last month. Photo credit: Czech Senate archive. 

Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) – The new Senate groupings continue to take shape following elections for a third of the 81 seats last month. Josef Klement will be the new head of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) senator group, replacing Sarka Jelinkova, who did not defend her seat, and senator Jiri Ruzicka (for TOP 09), who was in the Mayors group, will join the ODS/TOP 09 group, the parties’ spokespersons told CTK yesterday.

The ODS/TOP 09 senate group has grown to 34 members, and remains the strongest in the upper house of the Czech parliament. After the success of both parties in the recent elections, the group will have seven more senators, said ODS spokesman Jakub Skyva.

Skyva quoted PM and ODS leader Petr Fiala as telling the senators: “We have emerged stronger from the elections. We have managed to extend our senate group to 34 mandates. This is great strength, but above all responsibility.” 

His government is formed by the SPOLU coalition of ODS, TOP 09, and KDU-CSL, with the “PirSTAN” coalition of Mayors and Independents (STAN) and the Pirate Party.

Ruzicka was defending his mandate with the support of ODS and KDU-CSL as well as STAN, who nominated him for the Senate leadership.

In February 2018, after the death of Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera (ODS), Ruzicka was the rival candidate of Milos Vystrcil (ODS) to replace him. When Vystrcil was elected, Ruzicka became his deputy.

Along with Ruzicka, the ODS/TOP 09 senator group will be reinforced by re-elected senator Jiri Dusek (previously ANO, now ODS), and new senators Jarmila Smotlachova, Hana Kordova Marvanova, Tomas Topfer (all ODS), Jan Pirk (TOP 09) and Marek Slaby (Tabor 2020).

A week ago, Zdenek Nytra (ODS) was re-elected as the chair of the ODS/TOP 09 senate group; Raduan Nwelati (ODS) became deputy chair yesterday, and senator Jan Grulich (TOP 09) will also be Nytra’s deputy, replacing TOP 09 deputy leader Tomas Czernin.

The KDU-CSL senate group remains at 12 members, winning seven seats in the elections.

Senator Josef Bazala was elected as the deputy chair of the KDU-CSL group, replacing Lumir Kantor, said KDU-CSL spokeswoman Lucie Jesatkova. Jitka Seitlova (KDU-CSL) will be defending the post of Senate deputy chair at the first session of the new Senate lineup on 2 November.

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