Brno, Nov 28 (CTK) – Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) lawmaker Jeronym Tejc will seek the post of the government CSSD’s first deputy chairman at the party congress in March, since his candidacy was backed on Monday by his home CSSD branch in Brno, which also voted for PM Bohuslav Sobotka to seek re-election as CSSD head.

Sobotka recently said he will support the re-election of the party’s current first deputy chairman, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec. He said there is no elementary understanding between him and Tejc.

At the Brno branch’s conference on Monday, Tejc’s nomination was supported by 142 out of 146 delegates present.
Tejc told CTK that he respects Sobotka’s decision to back Chovanec.

“After I failed to persuade the chairman, I will try hard to persuade the delegates to the congress, who will have the decisive say,” Tejc said.

He said he would not have problem cooperating with Sobotka and that they would be able to reach consensus on the CSSD’s priorities.

“After all, in the past week, Prime Minister Sobotka inclined to a number of views I have been promoting. That is why I believe that we are able to find common positions,” Tejc said.

Last week, Tejc said many CSSD members asked him to run for chairman, which, he however, could not accept because if he defeated Sobotka, it would probably result in the government’s collapse half a year before the general election.
“I cannot imagine the chairman and prime minister failing to defend his post,” Tejc said.

If nothing else, this would lead the CSSD into a crisis which it need not overcome before the election due next autumn, Tejc said.
Tejc says the Sobotka-chosen CSSD leadership failed to improve the party’s preferences after what he called its weak result in the October 2013 elections. In addition, the CSSD registered a further decline in the regional elections this October, which is why it needs a change.

He says the CSSD should give up focusing on issues that do not concern a majority of people. Instead, its programme should promote solidarity, including an aid to those who cannot support themselves for health or other objective reasons, equal opportunities for children and just taxes, Tejc said recently.

“Those working for poor wages deserve help as well, and we should take a tougher approach to those who would only like to sponge on the society,” he said.

Tejc, but also Chovanec, were among the five CSSD officials who secretly met President Milos Zeman after the 2013 general election, after which they unsuccessfully attempted to oust Sobotka from the government-forming talks and prevent his appointment as prime minister. Tejc was then forced to step down as the CSSD deputies group chairman, while Chovanec switched back to Sobotka’s camp and became a minister.