Saturday, 19 April 2014

Former minister Pecina leaves Social Democratic Party

7 January 2013

Prague, Jan 6 (CTK) - Martin Pecina, former Czech interior minister in the caretaker cabinet of Jan Fischer (2009-2010), left the opposition Social Democratic Party (CSSD) Sunday in reaction to its leadership's disunited stance on the presidential election, he has told CTK.

He said he minded that the left wing had not fielded a joint presidential candidate and that the CSSD had not proposed its former chairman and ex-PM Milos Zeman for president.

Pecina announced in mid-December that he would leave the CSSD and join the Citizens' Rights Party of Milos Zeman (SPOZ).

He wrote a letter of resignation Sunday.

"The split approach of the CSSD leadership to the presidential election is the reason why I left the CSSD Sunday," the server quoted from Pecina's letter to CSSD members.

In his letter, Pecina calls on all CSSD members and supporters to back Zeman in the presidential election.

The CSSD has officially nominated senator and party deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier as its candidate for the first direct presidential election in the Czech Republic. However, his chances are meagre, while Zeman and Fischer are election favourites, according to polls.

The first round of the presidential election is held on January 11-12. A possible second round will be held two weeks later.

Pecina also writes that the voices from the CSSD in support of Zeman were silenced and his supporters were asked to leave the party.

Pecina told CTK he would join the SPOZ if it had some sense for Zeman.

Pecina was elected CSSD deputy to the lower house in 2010. He gave up his mandate in March 2011 to become general director of the Vitkovice NP (Nuclear Power) subsidiary that focuses on the upgrading of production capacity of nuclear power plant equipment.

CSSD honorary chairman Valtr Komarek called on the Social Democrats to support Zeman last year.

Out of other senior Social Democrat politicians, support to Zeman was also voiced by former Moravia-Silesia regional governor Jaroslav Palas and party deputy chairwoman Marie Benesova.

CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka said in early December Benesova would have to make up her mind on whether to support Zeman or keep her post in the party.

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