Prague, May 23 (CTK) – The Czech Association of Free Unions (OSPZV-ASO) will campaign against the Social Democrats (CSSD) unless the party joins the planned coalition government with the ANO movement, the unions leader Bohumir Dufek has said.
“I resolutely declare that if the government cooperation is not launched, we will do our utmost to prevent the CSSD from gaining any votes from employees and people living in small towns and in the countryside because we won’t support and cast votes for a party that has no coalition potential,” Dufek said on Tuesday.
The OSPZV-ASO is the second biggest trade union in the country, following the CMKOS umbrella union. It has 35,000 members and most of them are agriculture workers. Dufek has been heading the unions since the 1990s.
Dufek said the Social Democrats must be aware that either they will defend their position with their voters or they will end like parties that failed to enter parliament, such as Public Affairs (VV) and Freedom Union (US).
It is the CSSD leading politicians who have seats in the parliament now who have split the party, Dufek said.
In the general election last autumn, the CSSD defended only 15 of its 50 seats in the 200-member lower house of parliament.
The CSSD rank and file are deciding in a referendum whether they want their party to form a minority government with the ANO movement of Andrej Babis, which would be supported by the Communist Party (KSCM). CSSD local branches started the referendum on Monday. The overall result will be known in mid-June. The KSCM may still demand changes in the government policy statement, however.