Samiksha Jaiswal

ANO 2011

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Leader  Andrej Babiš
Membership  (2016)  2777
Youth wing  Young ANO
ANO 2011
Founded  11 May 2012 (2012-05-11)
Headquarters  Babická 2329/2 149 00 Praha 4
Think tank  Institute for Politics and Society

ANO 2011 is a centrist and populist political party in the Czech Republic founded by Andrej Babiš, second wealthiest man in the Czech Republic, owner of Agrofert and media publishing company MAFRA. It is based on the former movement Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (Czech: Akce nespokojených občanů, ANO). "Ano" means "yes" in Czech.

Contents

History

The idea of founding a new political party came after leader and founder Andrej Babiš started talking about systemic corruption. His statements were supported by thousands of Czechs. ANO 2011 started as association in November 2011, and on 11 May 2012 ANO became an official political party in the Czech Republic.

In the legislative election held on 25–26 October 2013, ANO gained 18.7% of the vote and 47 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, attaining second place behind the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD).

On 29 January 2014, the Cabinet of Social Democrat Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was sworn in, with ANO and the Christian Democratic Union (KDU–ČSL) participating as junior coalition partners to the ČSSD.

On 24–25 May 2014, ANO came first nationally in the 2014 European election gaining 16.13% of votes and 4 seats, joining the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in European Parliament. On 10 September 2014, ANO member Věra Jourová was designated European Commissioner of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality in the Juncker Commission.

In the 2014 senate and municipal elections held on 10–11 October 2014, ANO won 4 seats in the Senate. ANO was also the largest party in 8 of the 10 biggest cities in the Czech Republic including its capital, Prague. It currently holds mayoral offices in three largest cities in the Czech republic. Adriana Krnáčová is the first female mayor of Prague. This success was later undermined when a large number of municipal coalitions broke up because of party's disunity.

On 21 November 2014, ANO was given full membership of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at the ALDE congress in Lisbon.

In 2016, two parties split from ANO 2011 – Change for People and PRO 2016 (FOR 2016). The latter was joined by numerous local councillors and Mayors from ANO 2011. New parties warranted the split by lack of democracy and discussion in ANO 2011. Andrej Babiš said that members of both parties left ANO 2011 because they aren´t on candidate list for regional elections in 2016 but admitted that "some members or organizations of ANO 2011 may want to privatize their position in the party and don´t let other people among themselves. Radka Paulová, leader of PRO 2016, defended herself that if she had really wanted a better position on Candidate list, she would have done better to have stayed in ANO 2011. Another member of PRO 2016 admitted that conflict about Candidature for Regional Councils also played a role. She said that the main criterion for Candidates to regional councils was not professionality but loyalty.

ANO 2011 lost one MP in July 2016 when Kristýna Zelienková left the party.

ANO won 2016 regional elections and 1st round of 2016 senate election. Party came 1st in 9 regions and 2nd in remaining 4 regions. Surprising was victory in South Bohemia. ANO ended up with 5 governorss. Karlovy Vary Governor Jana Vildumetzová became Chairman of regional association. Second round of senate election was disappointment to the party. Only 3 candidates were elected.

Babiš's Cafe

Andrej babiš started a project Babiš's Cafe in June 2016. It is party's Television program that consists of interviews with party's leader Andrej Babiš. He is questioned by moderator Pavla Charvátová and also answers questions that are sent by viewers.

Ideology and political positions

Founded in 2011 and led by multi-millionaire entrepreneur Andrej Babiš, ANO identifies itself as a political movement, rather than a party and does not want to be labeled on left–right political axis. It aims at cleansing the country of corruption, abolishing immunity for politicians, fighting unemployment and improving the transport infrastructure. Ideologically, the party is often placed in the centre and in this respect it has political similarities with the Christian and Democratic Union (KDU–ČSL).

Andrej Babiš stated in a post-election interview that he opposes the Czech Republic's adoption of the euro, and ANO does not want any deeper European integration or any more bureaucracy from Brussels. However, Andrej Babiš stated later that he was open to euro after the Czech Republic has a balanced budget. He also pleaded for closer ties with Germany and he said the Czech Republic was ready to sign the Fiscal Compact treaty now. In some spheres, like tax policy, he (re)introduced center-left elements, like abolition of partial tax exemption for self-employed person and restoration of partial tax exemption for employed pensioner. He also introduced proposal to increase school teacher wages by 2.5%, contrary to original proposal to increase only by 1%. In sphere of health care, he criticized public health insurance companies because of their enormous spending.

Its political position is debated among politicians and political scientists. Right-wing politicians and commentators place ANO 2011 on the left while political scientists place it mostly in the centre. Andrej Babiš in one interview stated that ANO 2011 is "a Right-Wing party with social Empathy."

Structure

The organisation of ANO 2011 has a highly centralised structure. The strongest position has the Chairman who acts independently when representing the party. The highest body of ANO 2011 is National Assembly that meets at least once in two years. Other national offices include Party Committee and the Bureau. The Bureau is led by the Chairman. Regional assemblies can elect their own Chairmen. Elected chairmen have to be approved by the Bureau before they can take the office. The Bureau also approves all candidates for elections.

Institute for Politics and Society is a think-tank affiliated with ANO 2011. Its task is to raise new politicians for the party. Its founders also say that activity of the Institute should lead to nationwide discussion about national interests and also create space for politicians from a new generation.

Young ANO is the youth wing of ANO 2011. It was established in May 2015.

References

ANO 2011 Wikipedia


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