Public Affairs (political party)

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Public Affairs
Věci veřejné
Chairman Jiří Kohout
Founded 2001
Dissolved 2015
Headquarters Štefánikova 23/203,
Prague 5
Ideology Conservative liberalism[1][2]
Right-wing populism[3]
Direct democracy[1][4]
Political position Centre-right[4][5][6]
Colours Light blue
Chamber of Deputies
0 / 200
0 / 81
European Parliament
0 / 21
Regional councils
0 / 675
Local councils
3 / 62,178

Public Affairs (Czech: Věci veřejné, VV, nicknamed véčkaři) was a conservative-liberal[7] political party in the Czech Republic.[8][9][10] Its main platform is transparency and opposing political corruption It had 24 seats in the 2010-2013 Chamber of Deputies. The party was formerly led by anti-establishment investigative journalist and writer Radek John,[11] its current leader is Jiří Kohout.

Besides opposing corruption, the party was fiscally conservative.[12] It has a number of right-wing populist policies,[13] without opposing immigrants,[11] but a proportion of its small membership is closer to the centre-left.[14] The party is interested in direct democracy – the members of the party can change the course of the party by Internet referendums, and has a pro-European Union position.[4]


Founded in 2001, the party has concentrated on local politics in Prague, particularly Prague 1,[15] for most of its existence.[16] In June 2009, Radek John was recruited as its chairman,[15] and it emerged in late 2009 as a contender in the 2010 election, polling above the 5% threshold for winning seats, and above the KDU-ČSL and Greens on occasion. John competed with Karel Schwarzenberg for the title of the country's most popular politician.[17]

In the election, it received 10.9% of the vote, easily clearing the 5% threshold, and won 24 seats. The party was in a governing coalition with the country's two other centre-right parties: the Civic Democratic Party and TOP 09.


In April 2011, Vít Bárta, Czech Minister of Transport, was accused of bribery by his colleagues from Public Affairs, deputies Jaroslav Škárka, Stanislav Huml, and Kristýna Kočí. The deputies were subsequently expelled from the party. The incident caused serious problems in the Czech government coalition.[18]

The lawsuit involving several members and deputies of the party began to be debated in court on 5 March 2012.[19] Vít Bárta was accused by the State Prosecution of bribery and Jaroslav Škárka of receiving a bribe.[19]

On 3 September, 2013, Bárta announced that Public Affairs will not be running for the legislative election held in October 2013. This led to the split in the party's leadership. Some of party's members were later elected as candidates of Dawn of Direct Democracy.[20]

Election results[edit]

Chamber of Deputies[edit]

Year Vote Vote % Seats Place Govt?
2010 569,127 10.8 24 5th Yes
2013 didn't contest 4 Decrease[21] No


  1. ^ a b Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  2. ^ Election 2010: New Czech Centre-Right Government Assumes Power, Eyes Reforms, IHS Global Insight, 14 July 2010, retrieved 13 October 2012 
  3. ^ Stojarová, Věra (2011), "Paramilitary Structures in Eastern Europe", The Extreme Right in Europe: Current Trends and Perspectives, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, p. 276 
  4. ^ a b c Marek, Dan, The Czech Republic and the European Union, Routledge 2010, p. 45 
  5. ^ Vazac, Rene (2011), "Czech Republic: Crisis Postponed - Navigation to Recovery", Financial Crisis in Eastern Europe: Road to Recovery, Gabler, p. 158 
  6. ^ Bakke, Elisabeth (2011), "The Czech Party System: 20 Years after the Velvet Revolution", 20 Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Transitions, State Break-Up and Democratic Politics in Central Europe and Germany, BWV, p. 228 
  7. ^ Frank Chibulka (2012). "The Czech Republic". In Donnacha O Beachain; Vera Sheridan; Sabina Stan. Life in Post-Communist Eastern Europe after EU Membership. Routledge. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-136-29981-0. 
  8. ^ Gardner, Andrew (30 June 2010). "Deal struck on Czech government". European Voice. 
  9. ^ Watson, Peggy (2 September 2010). "Czech female MPs have reduced politics by posing as pin-ups". The Guardian. 
  10. ^ "Election 2010: New Czech Centre-Right Government Assumes Power, Eyes Reforms". Global Insight. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Fraňková, Ruth (31 May 2010). "Public Affairs party remains a mystery to many". Radio Prague. 
  12. ^ Mueller, Robert; Mlcochova, Jana (29 May 2010). "Centre-right wins Czech election on austerity plan". Reuters. 
  13. ^ Klausmann, Alexandra (21 May 2010). "Tschechien: Jugend vereint gegen Linksparteien". Wiener Zeitung (in German). 
  14. ^ Lopatka, Jan (29 May 2010). "Snap Analysis: Czech vote good for markets but new party a risk". Reuters. 
  15. ^ a b "Prague politics player Public Affairs enters lower house". Czech News Agency. 29 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Czech parties hold coalition talks". Aljazeera. 31 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "A song by Marta". The Economist. 20 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "VV vyhnaly Kočí z klubu i ze strany a vyzvaly ji: Vzdej se mandátu" (in Czech). Týden. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Zlomový okamžik pro VV: Začal soud s Bártou a Škárkou". Czech Television (in Czech). ČT24. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  20. ^ "Na protest proti spojenectví s Okamurou rezignovala Bártovi polovina vedení VV" (in Czech). 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  21. ^ elected as candidates of Dawn

External links[edit]