The president of the ANO representatives' club believes that Macura will remain mayor of Ostrava

The president of the ANO representatives' club believes that Macura will remain mayor of Ostrava

The president of the ANO representatives club believes that Macura will remain the mayor of Ostrava

Constituent city council, 19 October 2022, Ostrava. Mayor Tomáš Macura (YES).

Ostrava – Chairwoman of the ANO representative club and deputy mayor Kateřina Šebestová believes that Tomáš Macura will remain mayor of Ostrava even after leaving the movement. He expects councilors to express their support for him at their meeting next Tuesday. On Monday, Macura announced his departure from the ANO movement and said that he would offer the position of mayor at the representative club and let his colleagues decide on his further work at the head of the city. Some coalition partners have already expressed their support for Macura. The situation will probably be dealt with by the Ostrava regional organization.

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“For me personally, Mr. Macura is the mayor in his place, so I will certainly support him and I believe that the other members of the club will too. When we talked about it informally at a wider meeting last week, the unity was there. There was no one who would not support the mayor. I personally respect Tomáš Macura as a person. He introduced decency and fairness into Ostrava politics,” Šebestová told ČTK today.

She added that if the opposite situation were to arise and Macura did not gain the trust of the club, the movement would have to find someone else for the position. “But I don't expect such a situation, I believe it won't happen,” said Šebestová. In the event that Macura receives the support of the club, there is no reason, according to her, to vote on his confidence at the Wednesday meeting of the council. “Of course, anyone can file a motion to recall any member of the council. If the opposition initiates it, of course they have the right to do so,” said Šebestová. According to her, a debate was also held today with the coalition partners, who also support the mayor remaining in office. “We have a lot of work to do, so it would be a shame if we weren't in the same boat in the club. I also feel support from the coalition partners,” she added.

The mayor was also supported by the mayor of the central city district of Moravská Ostrava and Přívoz and Ostrava representative Petr Veselka (ANO). “I think that without any party affiliation, the mayor is in his place,” said Veselka. He perceives the mayor as a person who has done many things for the city. “He does a lot for Ostrava, so he has my support as a person and I don't really care if he is in the movement or not. I would like to remind you that he was not in the movement for a long time, but he was elected mayor for the ANO movement,” Veselka recalled. Macura has been the mayor since November 2014, he joined the ANO movement in 2017. Veselka also believes that the representative club perceives the situation similarly and the mayor will get his support.

In addition to the representative club, the current situation will probably also be dealt with by the regional presidency, the chairman of the Ostrava regional organization and mayor of Silesian Ostrava, Richard Vereš, who is not a city representative, told ČTK. “I can confirm that yesterday (Monday), as the chairman of the Ostrava organization ANO, I received from Tomáš Macura the notice of withdrawal from the movement. I assume that next week both our regional presidency and the representative club of the city will meet. Their decisions and further steps will not be to predict at this moment,” stated Vereš. He assumes that he will announce the next course of action of the movement only after the meeting of these authorities.

Some representatives of the coalition partners have already expressed their support for Macura remaining in the post of mayor. Macura is the mayor of the third term and the ANO movement in the regional capital cooperates with the Together Coalition (ODS, KDU-ČSL and TOP 09) and Pirates. “I have excellent cooperation with the mayor. I think he has done a lot of good things for Ostrava, and we would be happy if he remained mayor and we could continue to work together,” said deputy mayor Andrea Hoffmannová (Pirates). Deputy Mayor Zbyněk Pražák (KDU-ČSL) assesses the situation similarly. “We would certainly be very happy if that continuity continued. We have been working with Mr. Mayor for nine years, he is an extremely hardworking and capable person. I am grateful that he is in the role of Mayor. I firmly believe that this (leaving the movement) will not lead to some changes and that their club will assess it pragmatically,” said Pražák.

In the fifty-five-member council, the current coalition has a majority of 33 votes, the ANO movement has 21 mandates in the council. In opposition are the Ostravak movement, SPD, Starostové pro Ostrava and the Ostrava Left.

The mayor justified his decision to leave the ANO movement by the fact that he cannot accept the direction of the movement, which, according to him, is completely different from when he joined it. At the same time, he stated that he had lost faith that he could change anything about it, so he decided to end his membership in ANO. “However, I respect that I was elected mayor for ANO, so I will offer my position at the representative club and let my colleagues decide who they want to lead them,” Macura wrote on Twitter on Monday.

For some time now, he has differed with the national leadership of the party in a number of opinions. He did not support his party leader Andrej Babiš in the January presidential election. He announced that he had voted for his opponent and later winner Petr Pavel. He explained it by saying that, according to him, Babiš does not have the prerequisites for the presidency. Ivo Vondrák, the Moravian-Silesian governor and then vice-chairman of ANO, who resigned from his position in the leadership of the movement last week, behaved in the same way. He suggested holding a ANO program conference on the further direction of the movement. At that time, he stated that he wanted to remain a member of ANO, which he has been like Macura since 2017. Vondrák told the server that he would not comment on Macura's decision. “It is the mayor's decision, which he informed me about. We agreed that I will not comment on it,” said Vondrák.