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Prouza to become ČSSD’s election manager

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Prague, Oct 27 (CTK) – Tomas Prouza 43, state secretary for European affairs and government digital agenda coordinator, is to become a new election manager of the Czech senior government Social Democrats (CSSD), Lidove noviny (LN) writes on Thursday, referring to a source close to the party leadership.

The CSSD leadership has already agreed on Prouza, the source said.

However, LN has found out that the proposal has not been definitively agreed yet and the CSSD board keeps it secret. In any case, Prouza, who did not react to the paper’s question, is a clear favourite.

If Prouza becomes the CSSD’s election manager, the Government Office will have to find another candidate for state secretary for European affairs, LN adds.

Prouza is one of the closest allies of PM and CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka who tries to be surrounded by “his men” before the March election congress where he will be defending his chairmanship and the autumn 2017 general election.

Prouza is not only to manage the CSSD’s election campaign, but he is also to be one of its main faces as he should lead the Prague list of candidates at the same time, LN writes.

After the CSSD’s failure in the October regional and Senate elections, Prouza is to fulfil Sobotka’s task to attract city liberals to the party with the trendy topics, such as digital economy and environmental protection, LN writes.

Prouza’s advantage is his experience and contacts in the financial world. He worked in the CSOB bank and co-owned the Partners advisory firm in the past, LN adds.

As an election manger, he will primarily have to hire a top consultancy firm to help the CSSD prepare its election campaign. However, the party is limited by its difficult financial situation as it must pay a 337-million-crown compensation to its former lawyer Zdenek Altner for his services, LN writes.

The post of election manager is considered important in the CSSD. But in the case of an election fiasco, the election manager is the first to blame for it and to be replaced possibly, LN notes.

Before Prouza, influential Prague CSSD member and MEP Miroslav Poche was in charge of the campaign before the regional and Senate elections. His predecessors were, for instance, former defence minister Jaroslav Tvrdik and current Interior Minister and CSSD first deputy head Milan Chovanec, LN adds.

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