The Greens in the Czech Republic, Strana Zelenych, are back in the Senate, and in a number of regional councils after the conclusion of the second round elections last weekend.The party had participated in an unpopular government from 2006-2010 with the right wing ODS and subsequently fell below the five percent threshold and lost their seats. Under the new leadership of former Education Minister Ondřej Liška, the party has healed its internal divisions and come together around a Green programme of removing the influence of money from Czech politics, supporting education and promoting sustainability. They have positioned themselves as the opposition to the right wing coalition, led by ODS, and the social democrats, who they perceive as similarly tainted by corruption.
In the latest race for the Senate (which saw one third of the senate positions filled,) the party has seen it’s greatest success. Two Green supported candidates made it through to the second round of the election last weekend . Eliška Wagnerová, former vice president of the constitutional court, was running in constituency number 59 (Brno city) and received an incredible 73.75% of the vote (10,756 votes) in the second round, securing the Greens a seat and returning them to national politics.
In Prague’s second constituency, the party had further success, as they supported Libor Michálek in a joint candidacy with the digital rights focused Czech Pirate Party and the Christian Democrats. Mr Michálek received 11,807 votes and was easily elected with 74.39%. He will sit as a Pirate in the Senate, the Czech Republic’s first.
The Greens have not been represented in the Senate since 2004, and that representation had been instrumental in assisting their breakthrough into the Chamber of Deputies in the following election. Now they are back, and fired up for their run in the countries first popular presidential election next year, and the general election the following year.