I am not facing any criminal prosecution, says the new ANO hetman

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Josef Bělica became the new governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region. He is already the third politician of the ANO movement to lead the region in this election period. What is happening in Moravian-Silesian ANO? And how many functions will Bělica hold?

Guest I’m asking was the new governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region, Josef Bělica (ANO), who becomes the head of the Moravian-Silesian Region as the third governor from the ANO movement within twelve months.

Long-time governor Ivo Vondrák resigned from the position first last June after sharp disputes with the leadership of ANO. The vocal critic of Babiš’s movement definitely fell out of favor when he supported Petr Pavel instead of his boss in the presidential election. Vondrák was then replaced by the then Regional Deputy for Tourism and Regional Development Josef Krkoška. But he too resigned after the Prague court found him guilty of participating in an organized criminal group at the end of March.

Bělica has already stated that he himself has nothing to hide. At Wednesday’s extraordinary meeting, 36 deputies supported it, 16 were against it, and four abstained. The new head of the Moravian-Silesian Region is accused by some of accumulating positions. He is also the mayor of Havířov and an ANO deputy.

“Operating as mayor or governor, and at the same time as a member of parliament, is relatively advantageous. Because a lot of the negotiations take place in Prague, and whether you are a member of parliament or not, you have to go to Prague, so if it can be coordinated well, it works,” Bělica said, adding that he will eventually give up the position of mayor because but it won’t be possible to do divided work right away.

Will Josef Bělica last until the end of the election period, or should we expect more upheavals? Why does the ANO movement suddenly not mind the cumulation of functions for governors? And with what program will he go to the autumn regional elections?

You can play the entire interview in an audio player, in your favorite podcast app or in a video.

What was said in the conversation?

1:00 a.m Will you last in your position until the end of the election period? Or should we expect some more shocks? – I hope to last, and I will do everything for it.

1:30 And how is what we watched in the Moravian-Silesian Region possible? – They say that the worst thing is working with people, and personnel matters are never easy. But considering that we had a stable situation for two election periods, it simply resulted in some changes. That happens sometimes. I hope that my arrival in the position will mean stability and peace.

2:30 You have been at the head of the Moravian-Silesian region for a very long time as the chairman of the organization of the ANO movement. Would you do anything differently? – In retrospect, when one evaluates it, it is always possible to do something differently. We are a democratic movement, local organizations here decide their own members, so it is often very difficult to get information that is not completely from public sources. And in most cases we are dependent on what people put in their CV, how they present themselves, and unfortunately things like this happen.

3:00 Were you personally angry with your colleague Krkošek when his case surfaced? – I was sorry that he didn’t tell me, that I didn’t know. On the other hand, it was old business. He deduced from this his personal responsibility, as well as a political one. I feel no resentment, we must look forward, not back.

5:00 Why did you become the governor? You have many functions, will you have enough time for them? – For me, functions are not and have never been a goal, for me a function is a means to be able to change something around me. It was, let’s say, the wish of the coalition partners.

5:30 am Since I am a Member of Parliament and Mayor of Havířov, I cannot completely slam the door behind me and simply say in Havířov from day to day: fine, I’m done. I feel a responsibility in the divided work to my colleagues, with whom we have been working there to change the city for three electoral terms. And the change is going well. It’s a challenge, it’s not easy, but I’m ready to face it.

6:00 So you are a Member of Parliament, Mayor, now Governor and in the House of Representatives you are a member of the Defense Committee, you are a member of the Permanent Commission for Controlling the Activities of the BIS, a member of the Permanent Commission for Controlling the Activities of Military Intelligence, a member of the Permanent Delegation of the Parliament to the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Alliance, you chair Subcommittee on Defense, Cyber ​​and Security Policy and Strategic Concepts, and you’re also a member of several business societies. Are you not going to leave some of it, or can everything still be done? – I have already declared it, I have also agreed with my colleagues in the Chamber of Deputies that I will undoubtedly have to leave some positions there because, although I enjoy doing them, they are time-consuming and I will not be able to fully devote myself to them.

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7:00 a.m. And didn’t it occur to you to resign from the parliamentary mandate? At one time, Andrej Babiš criticized the accumulation of functions very sharply, in the ANO movement he called on those who were simultaneously deputies and governors to give up one of the two functions. – I will keep my parliamentary mandate for the entire time, for the entire election period.

9:30 a.m And will you be able to handle it well even during the election campaign? Because you are the leader of the YES movement in the regional elections. This is very time consuming. – Of course I fulfill my obligations and will continue to fulfill them. You yourself know that there are MPs who do not have those functions and have significantly worse attendance than I do, for example.

10:00 a.m In addition, functioning as a mayor or a governor while also being a member of parliament is relatively advantageous, because a lot of negotiations take place in Prague, and whether you are a member of parliament or not, you have to go to Prague, so if it can be coordinated well, it works. And I think it works well.

So when you criticized cumulation as the YES movement years ago, you just didn’t know what you were talking about, and you didn’t even know then how beneficial it was. – That interpretation is not true… – … I just want to understand it well so that one thing doesn’t apply and a few years later something else. – But our political opponents also strongly criticized the adoption of the euro, they were in favor of the crown and today they say something else.

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13:00 You said in an interview on Radiožurnál that you are convinced that nothing will happen to you as governor, that you told everything to your coalition partners, that you answered all the questions that interested them. What did they ask you? – I talked about how my business is set up or muted, what I am active in, what I am not active in, how I financed certain things within the business, but of course it also affects my family.

2:30 p.m They asked some specific questions, like if I was being prosecuted. – And it is not? – It’s not.

16:00 When I looked at what was written about you, what information in general about you appeared in the media, I found some doubts and complaints that arose very often from the ranks of opposition representatives in Havířov. They aimed at the fact that the municipal company Havířova employs, among other things, your wife, employed your sister… – My wife works in a municipal company, she started there when I was not the mayor. It’s nothing against nothing, I don’t have any personnel powers there. (…) My sister worked for some time in the city’s welfare organization, but I don’t know exactly since when, she no longer works there, she found another job.

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18:00 I also found criticism for the fact that the karate club run by your wife, I suspect that you also work there, received a significantly higher subsidy from the city of Havířov than the other karate club that operates in the city. – I don’t run it, but I’m active in it, my wife is there. That club has a fifty-year tradition in the city, my wife and I have been active in that club for over 30 years. In that article it says that I allocated myself a subsidy, which of course is nonsense. The distribution of subsidies in each city is decided by the council and recommended by the sports commission.

18:30 I found other articles. How do you explain this number of such articles that try to accuse you of some kind of wrongdoing or conflict of interest or abuse of the position of mayor Havířov? – I am afraid that in the Czech Republic the political battle has turned from a battle of opinions and some approach into a battle to harm someone. I do not participate in such things and I do not use the same methods.

21:00 You were also criticized for the fact that you do not communicate much with citizens, that you do not answer questions, that you do not respond to the interpellations of citizens or representatives. That the city of Havířov does not broadcast council meetings online… – I don’t feel like I have any problem with communication. (…) Online transmissions are an opposition topic. If the Pirates weren’t able to put forward a vote on that carry last term, that’s laughable.

I am asking, Marie Bastlová

Podcast Marie Bastlova. Hard talk interviews with people who have influence, responsibility, information.

You can find the archive of all parts here. Write us your observations, comments or tips via social networks under the hashtag ptamseya or by e-mail: [email protected].


The article is in Czech

Tags: facing criminal prosecution ANO hetman

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