Thursday, 24 April 2014

Liška, Bursík to run for Czech Greens' chairman

ČTK |
23 November 2012

Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) - Ondrej Liska will be defending the post of the Czech extra-parliamentary Green Party (SZ) running against former SZ head Martin Bursik at the party's weekend election congress in Ceska Trebova, east Bohemia.

Bursik (SZ chairman in 2005-2009) brought the party to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, for the first time in the mid-2006 general election and to the coalition government of PM and then Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman Mirek Topolanek.

The SZ national congress will be held on November 23-25.

Bursik, who resigned as SZ leader in 2009 after the party's fiasco in the elections to the European Parliament, criticises Liska for not putting a sufficient emphasis on environmental issues.

The Greens under Liska do not clearly protest against the destruction of environment protection and do not promote sustainable development strongly, Bursik says.

Liska, for his part, says he considers the effort to follow up the era of Topolanek's government a mistake. He wants to develop a party of strong personalties that is not based on one man only, he adds.

Bursik says he would like to repeat the success in the 2006 general election, which Liska did not manage, and update environmental issues.

Bursik also wants to prevent the radical wing from dominating the party since it could help the Social Democrats (CSSD) cooperate with the Communists (KSCM) on the government level (after the 2014 regular general election that the CSSD will probably win).

This would be the end of the Greens, and this is why he would like to serve as a safeguard against such radicalisation, Bursik points out.

The Greens left high politics in the mid-2010 elections to the Chamber of Deputies in which they did not even cross the 5-percent parliamentary threshold.

Liska blames Bursik for having withdrawn from the SZ's helm at hard times for the party when it lost both voter support and state subsidies and ended up in financial difficulties.

Liska recalls that his leadership has succeeded in financially consolidating the party.

Bursik and Liska also supported different candidates for the first direct presidential election in the country to be held in January, 2013.

The SZ leadership supported the candidacy of actress Tana Fischerova, while Bursik stood by economist Jan Svejnar, whom the Greens along with the CSSD had proposed in the previous presidential polls in 2008 already. However, Svejnar eventually decided not to run for president this time.

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