The Czech Pirate Party is entering Parliament at an estimated 9.7% with half the votes counted. The Czech pirates have fought long and hard, and overcome frustrating setbacks like missing the parliamentary threshold by just 0.2% in the last election. Congratulations to Ivan Bartoš, Mikuláš Ferjenčík, Jakub Michálek, and the entire Czech team!
The Czech Pirate Party is the fourth to reach a national or federal parliament, after Sweden, Germany, and Iceland. The party leader, Ivan Bartoš, has been hanging in there for as far back as I can remember the movement – I can’t recall if we first met at the international meeting in Friedrichshafen in 2011 or in Prague in 2012. I’ve met with numerous other passionate Czech pirates over the years, whose hard work finally paid off in the elections closing today.
This is the ninth election for the Czech Pirates, who have been doing well in some local elections earlier, and even have a Pirate Mayor in the city of Mariánské Lázně. However, this is the Czech Pirates’ first entry into legislation on a nationwide poll, and as it stands with half the votes counted, it seems Europe and the Czech Republic is about to gain just-over-fifteen new pirate legislators.
Some media will probably focus on the fact that another dark horse came out of nowhere and got about 30% of the votes in this Czech election, but make no mistake, the Pirates are in this for the long game and is the bigger difference in this election. (Disclaimer: The names I mention here are just people I happen to have met personally.) Go, go, go!
Congratulations to the entire Czech team on your hard work and huge success — and for some, your new job!
The photo is from this election campaign video.
UPDATE 1: The final score appears to be close to 10.79%, which makes the Czech Pirates the third largest party, ahead of such parties as the Social Democrats (7.27%), Christian Democratic Union (5.80%), and Greens (1.46%). It also means the Pirates are getting a full 22 seats, tentatively indicating that all fourteen districts’ list-toppers and some of the list-seconds have a new job. At this time (20:07 on Saturday), the list of new MPs is not yet presented by the Czech Election Authority.
It is noteworthy that the Czech Pirates scored a full 17.59% in Prague, the capital.
Dana Balcarová, Lukáš Bartoň, Ivan Bartoš, Lukáš Černohorský, František Elfmark, Mikuláš Ferjenčík, Radek Holomčík, Martin Jiránek, Lukáš Kolářík, František Kopřiva, Lenka Kozlová, Jan Lipavský, Tomáš Martínek, Jakub Michálek, Mikuláš Peksa, Vojtěch Pikal, Ondřej Polanský, Jan Pošvář, Ondřej Profant, Olga Richterová, Petr Třešňák, and Tomáš Vymazal. Congratulations again!