In one Czech Senate race, the "private individual vs. bureaucrat" distinction is being drawn
The campaign in the runup to the October elections to the Czech Senate is beginning to slowly accelerate. The candidate for the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) in the Kolín precinct, Michal Zapletal, has fielded billboards attacking his opponent Cyril Koky, who is running for the Pirate Party.
The slogan on Zapletal's billboard reads "A private individual for the Senate, not a bureaucrat" ("Do senátu soukromníka místo úředníka."). He is referencing the fact that Koky has identified himself in his own campaign as an experienced bureaucrat at the Central Bohemain Regional Authority.
"The public and businesspeople should know that no small number of state institutions and authorities base their work on the expertise and professionalism of bureaucrats. Any mayor will confirm to you that the more competent a bureaucrat is in their municipality, the better the local authority functions," Koky responded.
"Many bureaucrats are better prepared in terms of expertise than politicians are. Don't underestimate bureaucrats, it's not correct," Koky said in a video published to social media.
"It's better to have an experienced bureaucrat who is familiar with procedural matters than a businessperson whose sole competence is being a businessperson and conducting a fight for years against a local nonprofit in Kolín," Koky responded to the ODS candidate. Zapletal continued his attacks on bureaucrats and state employees by responding "Yes, Mr Koky, we pay taxes and from those your bureaucratic salary is paid."
Other candidates in that precinct are Pavel Kárník (STAN), Tomáš Klinecký (TOP 09), Ivanka Kohoutová (Trikolóra), Martin Škorpík (KSČM) and Petr Žantovský (SPD). Koky has worked since 2003 as an expert official in the field of national minorities at the Central Bohemian Regional Authority.
Koky's job description there concerns above all the issue of integrating members of the Romani minority. He has also been a member of advisory bodies at the regional and Government level.
At the close of June, the Pirates presented their top candidates for the regional and Senate elections. Two Romani candidates lead the party's lists, one in each race.
In addition to Koky, who is running for Senate, Karel Karika, a former Vice-Mayor of Ústí nad Labem, won the party primary and is the lead candidate for the Pirates in the regional elections in the Ústecký Region. Senators in the Czech Republic serve for six years, and one-third of those posts are elected every two years - 27 of the 81 seats.
The regional and Senate elections will be held on 2 and 3 October. Should there be a runoff, it will be held on 9 and 10 October.
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