Who will lead the city for the next four years? The voters will decide on this at the end of September. They can choose from eleven groupings, in municipal elections it is also true that people can divide their sympathies between several entities. You will find new faces and familiar names on the ballot, some even in a new coat.
Election trend: coalition
Eleven parties and groups are running for municipal elections in Olomouc this year. This is less than four years ago, mainly because a number of groups decided to join forces and go into battle as a coalition. This applies in particular to the Citizen Democrats, People’s Party and TOP 09, who, just like in last year’s parliamentary elections, are competing for your votes under the TOGETHER brand.
A similar pact was signed by the Mayors and the Greens, who also included “Independent Olomouc personalities”.
The Pirates also decided to join a coalition in the fight for the council, but not with their government partner, but with the ProOlomouc movement.
Okamur’s SPD and Trikolora have come close to each other ideologically. Parties that have so far always ended up “below the line” would finally like to fight their way into the council. Svobodní, Soukromníci, Koruna Česká and Konservatívní party send fifteen candidates from their ranks.
There are crosses on the ticket, you can choose across the spectrum
You don’t have to prefer just one party in municipal elections. You have exactly forty-five votes at your disposal, i.e. exactly as many as there are elected representatives. But watch out for the popular circling, because in the municipal elections there is a cross! You can cross the entire party, or distribute the crosses to individual candidates across the spectrum. But be careful. If you assign a cross to an electoral party and to candidates of the same party at the same time, the vote is valid only for that party, votes are not counted for crossed candidates. However, you can cross one side and give the remaining crosses to candidates from another group. The calculation is then simple. The crossed party gets your votes minus the crosses for candidates from elsewhere. Attention, you can only cross one side! If you decide to cross, also be careful not to exceed the number forty-five, otherwise the entire ballot would be invalid.
When you take out a sheet of ballot paper from the blue envelope, you might sneer because the diminutiveness of the 59 by 85 centimeter poster is really out of place. The explanation is the mentioned possibility to vote for several entities, therefore the regulation imposes that all entities must be on one sheet for clarity. So let’s be happy that the Olomouc council has only 45 members and that only eleven groups are running this year.
Who are the leaders?
The faces of men and women who would like to become the next mayors are currently flooding the city. But relatively little is known about many. But the current mayor certainly does not belong to them Miroslav Žbanek from the movement YES 2011, who, as part of a unified party campaign, claims that “it’s better for him”. The former forestry planner left the private sector in 2007, and later became the manager of the Office of the Central Moravian Regional Council, an institution that, among other things, supervised the distribution of European money. He joined Babiš’s movement in 2013, ran for it in the Chamber of Deputies, but was unsuccessful. Three years later, he became deputy director for asset management in the Railway Administration. He has been the mayor since 2018.
The leader of the coalition has been involved in public life for many years TOGETHER Markéta Záleská. Originally a translator, she has had a rich non-political career. Together with her husband David, she translated not only books, but also films and series. In the 1990s, she founded the town hall information center, she is behind the initiative that launched the restoration of the Crown Fortress and gave birth to the Olomouc Fortress Museum, and she is also the founder of the tradition of farmers’ markets. She has been active in politics for the past four years, as a deputy mayor her competences include culture, sports and tourism.
Coalition STAN and Zelení led by a theater theorist Andrea Hanáčková. She is known as the long-time head of the Department of Theater and Film Studies. Before that, however, she worked as a freelance radio documentarian. She already knows the Olomouc council inside out, she was elected to it in 2018.
Movement Together placed this year at its head Otakar Štěpán Bačák. Before joining the movement, he worked for many years in a transport company as an economic deputy. However, he did not succeed in the 2018 elections, as SpOLečná won only three representative mandates, contrary to expectations. However, it became the proverbial tip of the scales and received an invitation to rule. But already in the spring of 2019, there was a case on the table, the current deputy mayor Pavel Hekela, former director of the Moravian Theater, broke up with him. In the end, he resigned from his position and resigned as a representative. The movement chose Bačák as his successor. In order to settle in the vacated office, he first had to become a representative. However, as a substitute, he only finished in fifth place. He jumped to the first position because the previous four substitutes gave him priority, and Bačák thus became the deputy mayor, a position he still holds today.
At the head of the candidate For Olomouc and Pirates he is an architect Tomas Pejpek. He has been involved in Olomouc politics for many years, but until now he always sat on the opposition benches. He is a well-known opponent of high-rise buildings near the center, he was involved in the Šantovka Tower case. Among other things, he is also the co-author of the villa on the silo near the market place. He currently works as a city architect in Jeseník.
The leader of the coalition SPD and Tricolors Yippee Pavel Jelinek. He started his career in the army, from the second half of the eighties he taught computer technology at the military department of the University of Žilina. He also devoted himself to the field in business, he was the director and majority shareholder of the company Merit Group. According to the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition, it was part of a cartel for an IT contract for the region, together with several other companies from the region. The case dragged on for over ten years, ending in April this year, when the office confirmed fines in the amount of tens of millions of crowns. Companies called it bullying. Jelínek left the company in 2015. In the same year, he joined the SPD. But it was not his first political engagement. Between 2006 and 2014, he sat in the Olomouc council for ODS. The new party finally brought him to the parliament, in October 2017 he became a member of parliament. Since 2016, he has also been a regional representative. He is also involved as the chairman of the civic association Promeritum, which tries to emphasize the importance of quality patient care in healthcare facilities.
Candidates under scrutiny: veterans and newcomers alike
When studying the electoral roll, you can come across a whole range of well-known names, whether politicians or other public figures. You will also find two men who are running for the Senate at the same time. On the candidate list YES 2011 it is Milan Brázdil, paramedic and MP at the same time. While he would have to give up the second position in case of success in the senate elections, the position of representative is compatible with membership in the Upper Chamber. On the candidate list TENTu then find a lawyer Michal Malacka. He is also running for the Senate for this movement. The former youngest dean of the Olomouc Faculty of Law is currently vice-rector. The current governor has his back from the last position of the STAN candidate Josef Suchánek.
You will also find interesting names on the ANO 2011 candidate list. He fights right away with number three Miloslav Tichý, the movement’s local marketing specialist, currently an unvacated councillor. Mayor Žbánek jokingly referred to him as “Marek Prchal of Olomouc” after the last victory. Among the candidates you will also find the former leader from 2014 Milan Ferance. The former manager of Agrofert and since 2017 a member of parliament is considered one of the influential men of Babiš’s movement. He, too, is currently an unvacated councillor.
Movement Together it has, for example, its founder and main donor on the candidate list Robert Runták. The former head of the bailiff’s office has been heard about in Olomouc in recent years mainly because of the Telegraph center he built near the railway station. He regularly organizes exhibitions and a cultural program there, the space also serves as a coworking center and collects numerous recognitions. You will also find a name on the same candidate list Martin Rak. The long-term marketing manager of football Sigma currently works in Baník, Ostrava. For example, the director of the Tvarg brewery is running for the company David Kapsia. And the former leader of the movement is among those interested in the seat of representative Stanislav Flek. The long-haired entrepreneur in horticulture led the movement to three mandates four years ago, but he did not rise to the higher levels of politics.
On the joint candidate list ProOLomouc and Pirates you come across a name Jan Žůrk. The co-founder of Divadla na cucky and its long-time director became a professional politician after the last regional elections, which brought him to the seat of regional councilor for culture. The former vice-chairman of the tent and former member of parliament is also running for the council for the Pirates Vojtěch Pikal. In January of this year, he surprised when he suspended his membership in the party, which he reinstated in March. The former head of Forests of the city of Olomouc is also on the list of candidates Roman Simekwho led the company for almost twenty years, was somewhat controversially dismissed in 2011, allegedly because the site was reserved as a political newsagent.
As already said, the coalition TOGETHER make up ODS, Lidovci and TOP 09. We also find well-known names with a rich history among them. A citizen democrat is not missing among the candidates Martin Major, a long-time deputy mayor and for a short time also mayor. Since last autumn, in addition to the Olomouc town hall, he has also been working as a member of parliament. The former deputy mayor is also a university teacher Ales Jakubec from TOP 09. He is currently the deputy governor. An architect and, among other things, the owner of Hospůdka u Kuděje are running for the People’s Party Michal Giacintov, currently another unvacated Olomouc councilor. This is also Jan Holpuch from ODS, IT specialist and author of many websites of his party. In the past, Holpuch worked as a deputy mayor. Among the candidates for the coalition is the head of the board of football Sigma Petr Konečnýdirector of the scientific library Iveta Tichá or another veteran of Olomouc politics Ladislav Šnevajscurrent director of cemeteries.
And you can find familiar names on the list of candidates SPD and Tricolors. With the number five, the frontman of the legendary Olomouc band Calibos goes into the electoral race as a non-partisan Miroslav Spilkaa well-known journalist is fighting for a representative seat in the colors of the Tricolor Pavel Ryšlink.
Familiar faces in a new coat
Social democracy has seemingly disappeared from the ballot this year. It has had a number of debacles behind it, its representatives no longer sit either in the Chamber of Deputies or in the regional council, and in the Olomouc region it had only two representatives for the last four years. Mark CSSD is currently more of a stigma, names associated with the party that ruled the city for many years can be found on the ballot and on the candidate list of the new group Olomouc people. Apart from a few names, these are mostly members of the ČSSD. It is in the fourth position Yvona Kubjátováa former deputy governor, there is also a historian among the candidates for the seat of representative Pavel Urbasek, former deputy mayor of Olomouc. The name of the head of the transfusion department is also unknown Dana Galuszkováor a former member of parliament Roman Vani. Among the non-party members under the banner of Olomouc, for example, a football player is running Roman Hubník or a political scientist Pavel Sharadin.
However, transfers can also be found on the candidates of other groups. Two former deputy mayors are on the candidate list STAN and the Greens. While still in the colors of TOP 09, they worked as deputies at the Olomouc town hall Eva Machova and Ivo Vlach. Architect David Helzel again for the past four years he sat in the council in the colors of the ProOlomouc movement. Another architect also ran for the same group four years ago Petr Danek.
Also number three on the coalition’s candidate list TOGETHERa lawyer Dominika Kovaříková, now in the colors of TOP 09, first entered the council in 2014 as the leader of the Citizens for Olomouc group, which was strongly linked to the then Green Party. Four years later, she was number two in TOP 09.
On the candidate list of the movement Together the name of the actress is in the third position Ivan Plíhalová. In the 2014 to 2018 election period, she sat in the council in the colors of the ODS, but four years ago she became a prominent face of the newly founded movement, which, together with the ODS, the People’s Party and ANO, form the current town hall coalition.
The doctor is also worth mentioning Pavel Andrswhose name can be found on the joint candidate list Svobodných, Svobodných, Koruna Czech and Conservative parties. He has already tried his hand at city management, he was a non-exempt member of the council for the Olomouc 21 grouping from 2000 to 2002. Now he has been nominated by the Monarchists.