Saturday, 17 February 2018

Social Democrats faction wants direct election of leader

ČTK |
22 January 2018

Tabor, South Bohemia, Jan 20 (CTK) - Critics of the current leadership of Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) will demand a change in the party rules, thanks to which the new party leader could be elected by all party members, former South Bohemia governor Jiri Zimola told journalists at their meeting on Saturday.

The party's extraordinary national conference will be held in Hradec Kralove, East Bohemia, in February.

Due to this, the conference should be "permanent," lasting some more time than usual, Zimola said. He is one of the architects of the recently created faction called "Let's Save the CSSD."

"We have clearly agreed on the whole members having the right to speak on the behaviour of the Social Democrats in the second or another try at forming the government," Zimola said.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) formed a government, but it was not voted confidence in the Chamber of Deputies last week.

Zimola said the faction's followers wanted to submit their Saturday's conclusions to the party leadership at the conference.

"We will want to keep working with them," former South Moravia governor Michal Hasek said.

Along with Zimola and Hasek, the faction is backed by former senator Zdenek Skromach, the Chamber of Deputies member for the Usti Region Jaroslav Foldyna and Vysocina Region governor Jiri Behounek.

The faction was formed in Prague on January 5. Its organisers say it should become an informal discussion forum that is to enable a debate on the future of the party and its values. Its meeting was attended by roughly 180 Social Democrats on Saturday.

The meeting was also attended by party leader Milan Chovanec.

President Milos Zeman has sent his greetings to the meeting, too. Next week, the second round of the presidential election will be held. Social Democrats are split over the support for him.

"These people mostly support Zeman, just like me," Chovanec told journalists.

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