Meeting of the regional presidency of the ANO movement of the Moravian-Silesian Region on the proposal of the national presidency to expel Hetman Ivo Vondrák from ANO, February 24, 2023, Ostrava. In the picture, Ivo Vondrák talks to journalists after the meeting, at which he announced that he was leaving the movement.
Ostrava – Moravian-Silesian governor and MP Ivo Vondrák left the ANO movement today, which he has been criticizing for a long time. He said this after the afternoon meeting of the regional presidency, which was supposed to deal with the proposal of the national presidency to expel him. However, Vondrák would like to remain in the position of governor, which he has held since 2016, until the end of his term of office. He feels the support of the representatives, he perceives the pressure of the ANO leadership to leave the position of governor. Elections to regional councils will be held next year. Vondrák himself came to today's meeting with the proposal that he would withdraw from the movement. The vice-chairman of the ANO movement, Karel Havlíček, considers Vondrák's decision to be rational, and questioned his ability to manage the region.
“The reason is simple. I think that the situation has dawned and it has become uncomfortable for many of my friends and colleagues, because the pressure exerted on them was demanding,” Vondrák said. He would like to remain in the position of governor until the end of his term. “I think that those things are started, started and deserve to be successfully completed,” Vondrák reasoned. According to him, he has a strong bond with his colleagues in the region because they have been working together since the beginning. So far, he has no signs that he does not have their support. He added that the club of regional representatives of ANO expressed its support to him two weeks ago.
The next meeting of the club will take place before the meeting of the regional council, which is called for March 10. “It will definitely be discussed there, but I firmly believe that common sense still works. If not, then of course there is no point in being involved in politics at all,” Vondrák pointed out.
Regional Chairman YES and Havířovsk mayor Josef Bělica told ČTK that today's meeting was correct and very fast. He did not want to comment on the governor's decision, considering that it is an internal personnel matter of the ANO movement.
Vondrák admitted that he feels pressure from the leadership of the ANO movement to leave the position of governor. “Of course, I was at the (deputy) club and there I noticed this pressure from those two (Alena Schillerová and Karel Havlíček), who today are, let's say, the ideological ambassadors of Mr. (Andrej) Babiš, where I heard this, so I assume that maybe something like it will be. It will then be their responsibility, what will happen to this region,” said Vondrák. Havlíček today described Vondrák's departure from ANO as a rational decision, but he cannot imagine that he would manage the region without the support of the movement that proposed him to the post.
Vondrák repeated that he feels support from his closest colleagues. “Already in the morning, we sat down with my deputies and they explained to me what was happening. I felt that it was not worth postponing it, for the very reason that the pressure will be exerted more and more. I think that this is not about politics, politics should be about consensus and finding solutions,” the governor added.
According to him, it is impossible to live in contradiction with the inner conscience. And he wouldn't change his actions even if he knew how the situation would develop. He decided to withdraw from the movement himself also for the reason that the regional presidency would not have to comment on the proposal of the national presidency to expel him.
Vondrák is a long-term critic of conditions in the movement and in the presidential election he did not vote for ANO chairman Andrej Babiš, but his opponent and the newly elected president Petr Pavl. He subsequently resigned from the post of vice-chairman of the movement and also left the ANO parliamentary club. Vondrák has already stated that today's meeting of the regional presidency will be key to his decision to remain in ANO.
In recent days, Ostrava mayor Tomáš Macura or his deputy for investments Zuzana Bajgarová, who were also critics of the movement and supported Pavel in the presidential election, left the movement. Macura said this week that he will leave the post of mayor of Ostrava within six months. He has been leading the city as mayor since autumn 2014, he also succeeded in last year's municipal elections. Macura told ČTK today that he expected Vondrák to quit the ANO movement. “I expected the governor's move. No normal person wants to be where they don't want you. That this is a short-sighted politician from the point of view of the movement is another matter,” said Macura.
Havlíček considers Vondrák's decision to be rational, he questioned his ability to manage the region
Karel Havlíček, vice-chairman of this movement, called the appearance of Moravian-Silesian governor Ivo Vondrák from ANO as rational. ČTK wrote that Vondrák, who announced his departure from the ANO parliamentary faction on Tuesday, “has lost practically all support in the movement, not only at the level of the presidency, but also in the regions”. According to Havlíček, however, the post of governor, which Vondrák intends to keep, is mainly political. He cannot imagine that Vondrák would manage the region without the support of the movement that proposed him to the position.
“He was elected by our voters in the Moravian-Silesian region and they clearly expressed their opinion in the presidential elections. Moreover, I personally cannot imagine how would I manage the region in the long term if I don't have the support of the political party that nominated me for the position,” said Havlíček.
Alena Schillerová, head of the ANO deputies' club, has a similar opinion. “It was headed for that, and that's why it doesn't surprise me at all, just like the fact that he wants to continue to be the governor,” ČTK wrote.