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Czech News in English » Opinion » HN: ČSSD must take risk if it wants to be competitive

HN: ČSSD must take risk if it wants to be competitive

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Prague, Nov 23 (CTK) – The Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) still could go to the 2017 general election as a sharp, dangerous and competitive entity, but it would have to be ready to risk irrespective of who would lead it, Petr Fischer writes in Hospodarske noviny (HN) yesterday.
He writes that the Social Democrats are increasingly nervous about the prospect that they will lose the general election to Finance Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO movement, but none of them has the courage to take a risk and to openly fight to avert the defeat.
The CSSD, the winner of the 2013 early general election closely followed by ANO, is afraid of the movement’s growing voter preferences and of the popularity of Babis who has capitalised on his presence on the government, Fischer writes.
He writes that the CSSD has failed to fulfil its claim that it will control Babis and limit his influence if it takes him on the government.
The CSSD’s popularity has been declining and one year before the election, its chairman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is trying to make up for what he did not do in the past three years, Fischer writes.
He writes that Sobotka is doing so also because he is afraid of competition inside the CSSD. However, neither South Bohemia Governor Jiri Zimola nor lawmaker Jeronym Tejc would take over Sobotka’s position now.
With their rhetoric they only weaken him in order to gain posts in the future, Fischer writes.
Sobotka’s ongoing impotent assessments of the work of individual ministers and the quasi resistance of certain “influential” party members to Sobotka testifies to the CSSD, which was one of the leading parties in the past quarter-century, having become utterly empty, Fischer writes.
He writes that Sobotka holding the posts of the party chairman and prime minister testifies to the complete failure of the party mechanism.
Actually, Sobotka became the CSSD head only because the party was unable to produce any other but a neutral man, “Mr Nobody.” To hope that a party which catapulted to its top the indifferent face of Sobotka, will all of a sudden conjure up new sharp personalities who will pursue a more open and resolute policy is naive, Fischer writes.
However, Sobotka still has one year to show that he can be a politician. He need not be fighting for his survival at the head of the party after the lost election next year, but he can do everything to make Babis’s path to power more difficult, Fischer writes.
To do so, Sobotka would have to sacrifice his party chairmanship for the benefit of the democratic whole. However, this cannot be expected given his current behaviour.
There is something unsound in the CSSD. On the one hand, there are cowardly politicians, such as Zimola and Tejc, who are afraid to openly fight. On the other hand, there is Sobotka, who is not taking any risk even when he is politically dying and who is sticking to his post of chairman even though it is worth nothing any more, Fischer writes.
The unsound pushes the CSSD to the edge of the scene, which pleases Babis and other less dangerous rivals, Fischer writes.

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