Five years ago the “traditional” Czech political parties did not give much credit to Andrej Babiš’s “ANO 2011” project. The second wealthiest man in the country was to some extent even made fun of and his hopes for entering high politics were considered unrealistic.
No-one would have believed back then that soon he would be in charge of one of the most powerful ministries. The Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic prepares and allocates the country’s budget, oversees membership in international organizations and well… manages the country’s wallet.
ANO does not define itself as a “traditional political party” but rather as a movement of angry people who want a real chance. Sounds familiar?
Accusations of anti-democratic and authoritative leadership within the movement hit the news headlines. Nonetheless, the election polls keep favoring ANO as the presumptuous winner of the upcoming October elections. With the campaign budget that other parties can only dream of ANO has a competitive advantage that will surely sweep a few thousand votes. Sad is the nature of the voter who is unlikely to remember four years of ANO in government.
On Sunday, September 3rd ANO held a press conference presenting the program for the upcoming elections.
The wording of ANO’s program continues to resemble a personal blog – of no-one else than Babiš himself.
“It’s hard to believe that in October it will be fours years since ANO has surprisingly succeeded in elections. Do you remember what the abbreviations mean? I do. Action of Dissatisfied Citizens. Our movement has started as a protest against corrupted traditional political parties, which were pretending to be either on the left or right.” – ANO Election Program
In the opening speech, Babiš positions himself as the only one fighting the establishment. The one against whom all the parties are leading a massive media campaign. Last time I checked, none of the other party leaders did not own a media house with one of the most read publications in the country such as Mladá fronta DNES, Lidové noviny and Metro.
Skimming through the 42 pages long program, I wonder: why would anyone vote for that?