Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Senator Jan Veleba to retire from politics

12 March 2018

Prague, March 10 (CTK) - Czech Senator Jan Veleba (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPO) will not be defending his post in the autumn Senate elections and he will retire from politics, he told CTK.

Veleba, 70, will step down as SPO chairman at the party's election congress later this month, also due to the SPO failure in the general election in October 2017.

He indicated that he is tired of the everyday work related to politics.

Veleba said he would like to write about the topics on which he focused before entering politics, mainly agriculture.

He headed the Czech Agrarian Chamber in 2005-2014. He has been the SPO leader since then.

Veleba said he would not be running for any other post in the SPO. He said he does not know who would be the next SPO leader.

In 2010, the SPO formed around former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman who is its honorary chairman. The party helped Zeman win the direct presidential election in 2013, but it never succeeded in entering the lower house parliament. In 2010, it got rather close to the threshold to enter parliament, but in 2013 its voter support shrank and last year it was negligible.

Veleba recently proposed that the SPO closely cooperate or even merge with the Social Democrats (CSSD), but CSSD leader Jan Hamacek dismissed the idea.

The SPO election congress will be held on March 28. President Zeman who defended his post in January will make a speech at the congress.

SPO politicians include Presidential Office head Vratislav Mynar and Zeman's influential aide Martin Nejedly, both of whom are related to suspicious cases.

SPO deputy chairman Marian Keremidsky told CTK that several people are considering running for the party leader and that he is one of them.

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