Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Zeman's party attracts new members after his victory

ČTK |
30 January 2013

Prague, Jan 29 (CTK) - Tens of people have applied for membership of the so far marginal Party of Citizens' Rights (SPOZ) these days, probably in reaction to the victory of its honorary chairman Milos Zeman in the Czech presidential election, SPOZ chairman Vratislav Mynar has told CTK.

Some SPOZ regional branches have reported the rise in the number of membership applicants.

Former Social Democrat prime minister Zeman, 68, won the Saturday presidential runoff with 54.8 percent of the vote, having defeated Foreign Minister and government TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg.

Mynar said he believed that Zeman's victory would help the party.

However, the SPOZ fears that some new members would like to expediently use the party's current popularity, and this is why it is considering tightening the membership conditions, Mynar said.

"We do not want to discourage people who really mean it but we would like to protect the party from go-getters," Mynar told CTK.

The SPOZ leadership is yet to debate possible measures, for instance, the introduction of waiting periods.

Jaroslav Masopust, chairman of the SPOZ organisation in the Liberec Region, north Bohemia, said Zeman's success might bring even respected personalities to the party.

The SPOZ leadership also believes that Zeman's victory will help the party in the next elections.

"I would be a bad party chairman if I did not use it in marketing. However, it will primarily depend on an agreement with Milos Zeman," Mynar said.

The SPOZ would like to succeed in the next elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, due in mid-2014. It would like to comfortably cross the 5-percent threshold, Mynar added.

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