Prague, Oct 10 (CTK) – Jiri Zimola, the Czech senior ruling Social Democrats’ (CSSD) governor of the South Bohemia Region, may be an unpleasant rival to the party head, Bohuslav Sobotka, after the CSSD suffered a crushing defeat in the weekend regional elections, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes yesterday.
South Bohemia is one of the only two regions, in which the CSSD won, losing nine regions out of the 11 ones it controlled from 2012. The elections were held in a total of 13 regions.
The party scored the other victory in the Vysocina Region.
Sobotka, who is the prime minister, is undoubtedly co-responsible for the party’s failure and some doubt whether he can bring the party to success in the general election to be held in a year, HN writes.
In contrast, Zimola has succeeded in the south of Bohemia for a third time.
“At the moment, I rule out running for the party chairman. I do not think that it would be good for the CSSD if I sought chairmanship now. However, I do not rule out seeking a stronger role in shaping the Social Democrats’ further fate. For this, I need not be in the position of the chairman or deputy chairman,” Zimola told HN.
The party will hold an election congress in March 2017.
Though successful, Zimola does not probably know any recipe for “selling” Social Democracy to more voters, HN writes.
It writes that Zimola believes that Sobotka can address many voters, the CSSD can win the 2017 election with him and that the CSSD ministers are fulfilling the party’s programme.
Zimola says he would only change the party’s presentation. He says the CSSD is unable to tell people that it is doing a number of useful things for them and this also applies to Sobotka.
Sobotka leaves much space to the Finance Minister and ANO chairman, Andrej Babis, in this respect, HN writes.
“In the 21st century, media policy must be entirely different from what the CSSD is doing,” Zimola said.
It writes that Sobotka himself complained on Saturday of the party lacking more voters in large towns.
“In the regions, in which Social Democracy placed second, it often dominated in the country, but it was weaker in large towns,” Sobotka said.
It is far from sure that Zimola would be the one to succeed in winning over city voters, HN writes.
It writes that Zimola has a reputation of a “shadow” of South Moravia Region governor Michal Hasek, who suffered a crushing defeat at the weekend.
Both Zimola and Hasek stand close to President Milos Zeman, whom they visited in his Lany country seat after the 2013 early general election in an effort to topple Sobotka, even though the party won the voting.
Yet, Sobotka may invite Zimola to the negotiations about the strategy to pursue before the 2017 election, HN writes.