Prague, Czech Republic – Ivan Bartoš has been reelected as chairman of the Czech Pirates during the party’s national convention held in Ostrava on Saturday.
Beating two other candidates, both Pirate MPs at the Czech Chamber of Deputies Vojtěch Pikal and Mikuláš Ferjenčík, Ivan Bartoš was entrusted to lead the Czech Pirates for the next two years by a wide majority of the 653 party members present at the national forum in Ostrava. Olga Richterová was elected as the Pirates’ first deputy-chair.
A little more than ten years after its founding, the Czech Pirates have become the third largest party in the Czech Republic after the ruling ANO of Prime Minister Andrej Babis and the centre-right opposition party ODS.
Latest polls put the Czech Pirates in second place after ANO, which retains a comfortable lead in opinion surveys, despite the investigations for alleged conflict of interest and EU subsidy fraud faced by the billionaire PM and growing popular discontent.
Following his reelection, Ivan Bartoš praised the fact that the Czech Pirates have gained prominence in the Czech and European political landscape, growing from a small grassroots movement campaigning on an anti-corruption and transparency platform to one of the strongest and fully-fledged opposition parties in the Czech Republic.
With eyes set on the 2021 parliamentary elections, Bartoš said that the Pirates will have to continue to act as a constructive and leading opposition in Parliament.
Bartoš had already been chairman of the party from 2009 to 2013, then briefly for a few months from September 2013 and June 2014, and has led the movement he co-founded since April 2016.