Thursday, 24 April 2014

Czech parties getting prepared for possible early elections

ČTK |
23 April 2012

Prague, April 20 (CTK) - Czech parties are preparing their campaigns for a possible early general election that would be held in June if the talks on a reconstructed government coalition failed in the next three days.

Public Affairs (VV), the smallest government party, has split in two since Karolina Peake and six other MPs left the VV group earlier this week.

PM Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said he would continue ruling the country if the coalition commands a clear majority in the Chamber of Deputies. The ODS and TOP 09 would ally with Peake's new platform only if it has at least 10 MPs. If such a support is not secured, early elections should be called. Necas wants to make the final decision by Monday.

ODS election manager Pavel Drobil said the party's main issues in the campaign would be the economy and labour market.

The Czech right-wing parties, the ODS and its junior partner, TOP 09, warned against the Greek path to state bankruptcy in their campaigns before the 2010 general election. The ODS plans to compare Czech economic results with those of other EU countries in its campaign now.

Drobil said the ODS can use the materials prepared for the autumn elections to the regional authorities and the Senate.

TOP 09 election manager Jaroslav Polacek also said the party would modify its campaign for the autumn elections if the coalition government decided to end.

TOP 09 has already booked some billboards in relation to the possible early elections.

According to CTK's information, ODS ads promoting a pro-employment policy and the need to curb budget deficits will appear in Czech press on Saturday.

The ODS has earmarked nearly 100 million crowns for the early general election.

TOP 09 does not plan to spend more than it paid for its campaign in 2010, which was over 50 million crowns.

According to unofficial information, the Civic Democrats want possible early elections to be held soon because a long election campaign would be too expensive.

The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD), who are the most popular party for a long time, reckon with 80 million crowns and "an adequate reserve" for their possible election campaign, CSSD deputy head Martin Starec said.

CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka said the CSSD has a better position than the ruling parties because of the government's unpopular reforms.

Tipsport betting agency expects the early elections to be held either next year or this June. It does not expect them to be organised in August.

Tipsport spokesman Lubomir Jezek said early elections will definitively be called in 2013 if the current government crisis is overcome in the next days.

Jezek said the elections are not expected to be organised on their regular date in mid-2014.

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