Written by: Monika Mudranincová
Photo: tomáš kubeš
Because of her distaste for compromises, the politician Hana Marvanová (43) was labeled a rebel, a trouble maker, and a loose cannon. She was also the first woman ever to chair a parliamentary political party in the Czech Republic. She left the political arena last year when she quit the governing coalition member, the Freedom Union, because she wasn’t willing to be constantly entangled in internal disputes. How does she now spend her time? As an attorney and taking care of her family, whose youngest member is just two.
THE REGIME CHANGE brought new possibilities for Hana Marvanová, who under totalitarianism spent six months in prison for sedition. She made great use of the opportunity. First she served in the upper chamber of the Czech Republic parliament as a member of the Civic Forum, then of ODS, and finally of the Freedom Union, which she chaired after 2001, thus becoming the first woman ever to chair a parliamentary political party in the Czech Republic. She left the party’s leadership in 2002 because she disagreed with the entry of the right-wing Freedom Union into Špidla’s left-wing government. “US-DEU presented itself as a party that emphasized promises to voters, also stressing that it was a right-wing party,” Marvanová recalls. “Then, in an about-face, it supported the leftist program by joining the government along with ČSSD.” But not even as a rank-and-file deputy was she willing to accept her colleagues’ political hucksterism. In September of 2002 she refused to support the so-called flood package, which would have led to a tax hike. It’s no wonder many politicians were relieved when she left the scene last year. “I came to believe that in the Freedom Union there isn’t any will to change politics,” says the ex-politician, adding that she still follows politics but hasn’t decided on her possible return.
Today she works full time as an attorney. She has many interesting cases, such as representing injured parties in the H-System for many years, resolving disputes of several housing cooperatives, and dealing with problems between owners and tenants. “Practicing law is close to politics, because an attorney, like a deputy or a politician, looks for ways to resolve fellow citizens’ problems,” she says, adding that she doesn’t miss the media attention. “I’ve had quite enough of that, and it wasn’t always pleasant,” she says. Marvanová has three sons, aged 2, 14, and 20. As she points out, sometimes it’s hard to combine family and professional life, but she likes to set aside time for family activities.