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Filip reelected Communist Party chairman

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Prague, May 14 (CTK) – The Czech opposition Communists (KSCM) re-elected Vojtech Filip as the party chairman for another four years at its national congress on Saturday, where Filip defeated his only rival candidate, Josef Skala, in the election vote.

Filip was supported by 203 delegates, and Skala, a former KSCM deputy head and the only rival candidate, by 150.

Petr Simunek was re-elected the KSCM’s first deputy chairman. He was supported by 263 delegates. His rival, south Bohemian politician Petr Branny, gained 84.

The two remaining posts of deputy chairpersons were sought by ten contenders.

Finally, one of them was successfully defended by Jiri Dolejs, while the other went to Skala, who replaced Miroslava Vostra and became the only new face in the party’s four-member close leadership.

Filip, 61, has headed the KSCM for eleven years now. At the ongoing congress, his opponents criticised the party’s policy as too soft and irresolute under his leadership.

Filip’s critics said the party has focused on parliamentary policy only and has become a B team of the (senior government) Social Democrats (CSSD).

“The KSCM will be an uncompromising critic of the present government coalition. It will always be an opposition party that comes up with realistic and feasible proposals,” Filip told journalists.

He said the further course of the weekend congress will show that the party is well prepared for the upcoming elections.

Regional and Senate election are scheduled for the autumn, and the general election for next year.

In reaction to critics, Filip said he wants to cooperate with the civic sector and find allies among activists.

“We are ready to launch very intensive policy outside parliament,” he said, adding that he does not expect the party’s orientation to change profoundly after the congress.

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