Interviews

Vít Rakušan: No Coalition Is Without Problems, But It Can Still Be Functional

Published: 20. 4. 2021
Author: Karel Černý
Photo: Photo archives of Vít Rakušan
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The vortex of events spun by the COVID pandemic is strong and fast, things change from day to day. That is also why the chairman of the STAN movement, Vít Rakušan, did not talk about the hot present, but about the near future.

Are you watching the polls? Do you believe that the elections will turn out as they predict?

Of course I'm following it. But polls always show how the election might turn out right now, so I don't expect it to turn out that way. More importantly, this is a trend - and it shows increasing support for our coalition.

Are you already discussing possible post-election cooperation with other entities? That is, for example, with the three-party coalition of ODS - TOP09 - Lidovci?

It is good to think about it in advance and evaluate it strategically. I like things that have been thought out, on the other hand, it would be ridiculous to cut a bear which is still running deep in the forest and from which we have not yet seen a hair. The right time will come once the election results are counted, and then we will know the basic directions to take. And none of our voters probably expect us to throw ourselves into Andrej Babiš's arms.

Aren't you afraid that forming a new government after the election may mean grouping your two-party coalition with the aforementioned three-party coalition and perhaps adding someone else?

It will be the voters who deal the cards. It may be a big scrum of parties, or on the contrary, the political scene may refine. But even if that were the case - that is a de facto coalition of five parties - it would show well whether we are able to agree in the interests of this country. I optimistically believe that we would.

Can a governing coalition of five, or perhaps even more parties, some of which have quite different positions on various issues, be functional and unproblematic?

No coalition is without problems. And yet it can still be functional if the parties stop checking out each other's muscles and are able to put the egos of their representatives into their pockets a bit. Neither have governing three-party coalitions been without problems - on the contrary, the five-party coalition could paradoxically be functional, if we are united by the desire to end the pain of the current chaotic rule, which the coronavirus crisis has fully revealed.

Aren't you afraid of possible post-election obstruction by President Zeman? After all, he can manage to maintain a state that will suit him long after the election. Can there be a crisis?

A crisis can always happen, and the President is very creative in this. He doesn’t care if it's for the benefit of the country, or not. And yes, he can delay and come up with obstructions. That is why the opposition to the current government needs a strong mandate.

Do you also envisage the possibility of forming a minority government with the support of one of the opposition parties?  That is the set up that is often presented to the current coalition as a solution?

Of course, this is also a model that can work. But we don't mind now that the minority government relies solely on the support of another party – we just mind that the Communists are that party. We really couldn't rely on them. And as you can see, even Babiš can't lean on them for sure.

Are there parties you certainly won't join in coalition with, and you wouldn't want to be dependent on their support?

We keep saying this as STAN: that would be certainly communists and any other extreme party of a SPD-type. And no one probably expects, after our criticism of the chaos of the current government, that we would even vaguely consider cooperating with Babiš's ANO.

What do you blame the current government for, and what would you like to change as soon as the election is over?

That it’s working on the basis of the prime minister's impressions and false belief that he is a good manager. He always said he wasn't a politician, yet he went into politics, and then whined that he didn't really want to do it. I don't think he's a politician. And that he is not even a manager. I think Alena Schillerová may be an accountant, but certainly not the Minister of Finance. Consider how individual members of the government chaotically tell us "planned measures", which the prime minister immediately opposes to and say they are nonsense. So definitely different: think things through, and then announce them. End the nano management of the prime minister, who wants to decide everything. Decide on the basis of data, not one's own - often wrong - feelings.

CV BOX

Vít Rakušan (born on 16th June, 1978 in Kolín) is an MP, chairman of the STAN movement, a representative of the Central Bohemian Region and a representative of the city of Kolín.

He studied History and German studies at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and school management at Charles University in Prague.

Since 2000 he has been doing business in the private sector, from 2000 to 2015 in the field of German language teaching. He taught German as a high school teacher at the Jiří Orten Grammar School in Kutná Hora. In 2016, he was included in the ranking of the 100 greatest innovators in Central and Eastern Europe, announced by the prestigious English daily The Financial Times.

He entered politics in 2010, when he was elected in the municipal elections as a non-aligned member for the entity "Change for Kolín" as a city representative. In the 2012 regional elections, he joined the Central Bohemian Regional Council as a non-aligned member for the STAN movement within the entity of "TOP 09 and Mayors for the Central Bohemian Region". He was elected a Member of Parliament in 2017

He is married for the second time. He has a daughter, Agáta, from his first marriage, and sons, Matěj and Jonáš, from his second marriage. 

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