Prague, Czech Republic – Vaclav Klaus Jr., the son of former President and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, has been named as the most popular politician in the Czech Republic, local media reported.
According to a new poll, conducted by the CVVM agency in September, around 42% of respondents said they trusted M. Klaus Jr., beating to the spot Andrej Babis, Prime Minister and leader of the ruling ANO party (38%), and Ivan Bartos, leader of the opposition Czech Pirate Party (29%).
They’re followed by far-right leader Tomio Okamura (29%), Jan Hamacek, head of the Social Democrats (25%) and Vojtech Filip, chairman of the Communist Party.
Vaclav Klaus Jr. founded his new conservative political movement, the Tricolour party, this summer. A former ODS member, he was expelled in from the right-wing Civic Democrats for supporting Ladislav Jakl, a far-right candidate from the Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) in Senate elections, and over controversial statements he made about the EU and the Holocaust.
Taking up the mantle of his conservative and nationalist father’s rhetoric, Vaclav Klaus Jr, 50, said he wanted his new Tricolour party (Trikolóra hnutí občanů in Czech) to defend Czech traditional values, safeguard the Czech Republic’s autonomy from the EU and promote a liberal free-market stance on economic issues.
The party currently holds two seats in Parliament: Vaclav Klaus Jr’s and Zuzana Zahradníková Majerová, also elected in 2017 under the ODS banners but who resigned following Klaus’ expulsion. His father, a dominant yet controversial figure in Czech politics, should also become an honorary member of the party, according to reports.
“Now, the views of both Klaus Jr. and his father have switched more to hard Euro-scepticism that is not based just on criticism and attempts to reform the European Union, but aims to actually withdraw from the EU and to reject everything to do with the EU and EU policies”, warned political scientist Petr Just, commenting on the foundation of the new party.
Many observers believe that Vaclav Klaus, who served as Prime Minister and President in the 1990’s and 2000’s and who still regularly comments on current affairs, is partly responsible for the Czech population’s notorious Euroscepticism.