Friday, 20 October 2017

Family, education, nature are Czech KDU-ČSL's election priorities

ČTK |
9 August 2017

Prague, Aug 8 (CTK) - The family, education and innovations, and care of the landscape and farming land are the priorities on which the Czech junior ruling Christian Democratic Party (KDU-CSL) will focus its campaign ahead of the October 20-21 general election, party representatives told journalists today.

Party head Pavel Belobradek said a house for three generations, or the children, parents and grand-parents, is a symbol of the KDU-CSL's manifesto.

"We see our country as a house for three generations. Its foundations are created by our values, traditions and culture, and the roof are democratic institutions that ensure security, protect our freedom and allow us to strive for happiness and prosperity," Belobradek writes in the manifesto.

It is divided into four chapters, focused on the future and children, prosperity and people in the economic-productive age, solidarity, seniors and the Czech Republic's success.

Belobradek said the manifesto is based on a long-time party programme.

He said his party would like to raise teachers' salaries.

"Without a quality teacher there is no quality education, " Belobradek said.

Party deputy chairman Jan Bartosek said the KDU-CSL will support available housing.

Through the State Housing Development Fund, it would like to offer municipalities the construction of flats with regular rents.

The KDU-CSL also focuses on a pension reform, according to which families with children would make lower payments to the pension system, and working parents would get higher pensions.

In the social sphere, the KDU-CSL wants to support a tax reform.

"We believe that it is necessary to place a higher emphasis on that benefits are paid to those who really need them and who need the assistance of others not through their own fault and laziness, but at the same we cannot let anyone fall," Belobradek told CTK.

The KDU-CSL also wants to win over voters with emphasis on care of the landscape and farming land and on control of the quality of food.

Deputy chairman Marian Jurecka, who is agriculture minister, said the party wants to work for the countryside and small municipalities having a good outlook and available services.

Belobradek said the anchoring of the country in the EU and NATO is of fundamental importance. The country should be more active in both of them, he added.

"We have always supported a far higher increase in spending on defence than what was approved eventually," he said.

At the beginning of August, the KDU-CSL presented its election slogan "With Responsibility" and announced the names of the election regional leaders, most of them being current lawmakers.

Originally, the party wanted to run in a coalition with the opposition Mayors and Independents (STAN), but the prepared project was scrapped out of fear of gaining insufficient support.

A coalition of two parties needs minimally 10 percent of the vote, while an individual entity only 5 percent.

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