Meeting of the club of representatives of the ANO movement due to Ostrava mayor Tomáš Macura (pictured), who announced his departure from the ANO movement, February 20, 2023, City Hall of Ostrava, Prokešovo náměstí, Ostrava.
Ostrava/Prague – The mayor of Ostrava, Tomáš Macura, who left the ANO movement a week ago, will leave the post of mayor within six months. His two deputies, Zuzana Bajgarová and Kateřina Šebestová, will leave with him. At today's early evening meeting, the club of representatives agreed on this. Šebestová told journalists that the club unanimously supported this solution. According to her, the existing coalition should be preserved, only some people from the ANO movement will change. Based on the agreement, members of the ANO movement will not propose a vote of confidence in Macura at Wednesday's meeting. The mayor did not want to comment on the outcome of the meeting. The first vice-chairman of ANO Karel Havlíček considers Macur's departure from the post of mayor to be a reasonable solution, according to him, he has lost political support.
According to Šebestová, Macura made his position available with the understanding that he could hand it over to a gradually selected successor from the ANO movement. Šebestová, who is in charge of the environment, and Deputy Bajgarová, who is responsible for investments, also decided on the same procedure. Bajgarová has already resigned from the ANO movement, the chairwoman of the ANO representative club Šebestová is about to leave the movement.
“The mayor of Ostrava is a political position that ANO voters got him (Macura) into, including thanks to the support of the ANO movement. If Tomáš Macura doesn't identify with our movement and, as it turned out in the presidential elections, with our voters, I can't imagine that he would continue to lead Ostrava in the long term. In the short term, yes, but not for nearly four years,” wrote ČTK Havlíček.
According to Šebestová, one of the conclusions of today's club is also that it will remain united in its voting. “Which is also a positive message for the coalition, because we insist on maintaining the current coalition,” said Šebestová. The movement has yet to discuss who could replace the trio in the city leadership. According to her, the members of the city management should hand over their functions within a few months, at most within six months. He will remain Macura's representative.
The agreement was also confirmed by the chairman of the Ostrava regional organization ANO, Richard Vereš. “Today, the mayor himself submitted a proposal that he will end his position with a gradual handover. With the fact that there will also be a wider personnel change of nominees for the ANO movement in the city management. The club has agreed that in the coming months, it will discuss how exactly what this change should look like. I welcome the fact that the club was united, that it agreed. We want to preserve the existing coalition,” said Vereš. According to him, the agreement is supposed to unblock the current situation that occurred after Macura left the movement.
Vereš did not rule out that the change in the leadership of Ostrava will also affect the events in the city districts. “This is a question that we will have to solve, so it is good that we are not making any sudden changes, and that we really want to talk about it, so that any changes in the city do not negatively affect the events in the city districts or the management of individual town halls,” said Vereš. He claims that the selection of people to replace the outgoing mayor and his deputy will be in the hands of the Ostrava organization. According to Vereš, the national leadership did not interfere with their candidates or nominations at individual town halls.
Shortly after last year's municipal elections, ANO agreed on a municipal coalition with Spolu (ODS, KDU-ČSL and TOP 09) and Pirates. The Ostrava ANO, led by Macura, won the municipal elections in September by a landslide, winning 21 mandates in the council, which has 55 members. The 58-year-old Macura leads Ostrava as mayor for the third term, having been elected for the first time in the fall of 2014.
The mayor has been at odds with the national party leadership for a long time. He did not support his party leader Andrej Babiš in the January presidential election. He announced that he had voted for his opponent, Petr Pavel, who ultimately won the presidential election. Hetman Ivo Vondrák (ANO) also proceeded in the same way, who subsequently resigned from the position of deputy chairman of the movement.
“Within the regional leadership, the situation is similar, but at the same time very different. We will probably meet on the floor plan of the regional presidency. In this “We have been talking for a while about the possibility of expelling Mr. Vondrák from the ANO movement. He wants to remain a member of the ANO movement, the situation is a bit different there,” said Vereš. The regional club of representatives will have to meet again. I myself am curious as to what the discussion will be like there,” noted Vereš. The regional assembly is scheduled to take place on March 10.