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Právo: ČSSD lost 800 members in two months

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Prague, April 6 (CTK) – The Czech senior government Social Democratic Party (CSSD), which polls predict will lose the autumn general election to billionaire Andrej Babis’s ANO, lost another 800 members in two months, daily Pravo reported yesterday, referring to a party document it has at its disposal.

The CSSD central committee will debate the document on Saturday.

The number of the CSSD members dropped from 20,349 as from January 1 to 19,548 as from February 28, Pravo writes.

In addition, the CSSD is failing to win over new members of whom it admitted a mere 63 during the two above months, Pravo writes.

The only region where the number of members has not decreased, but on the contrary, slightly increased from 977 to 984 in January-February, is South Bohemia, where Jiri Zimola (CSSD) defended the post of governor last October, Pravo writes.

One of those leaving the party is deputy Marie Benesova, 68, a close ally of President Milos Zeman, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes.

It writes that Benesova has a problem with the party’s leadership headed by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

“I am ending with them. I do not want to run for the CSSD any more. I liked the work, but I would need decent people to carry on. However, they are disappearing from the party,” Benesova told LN.

She will not be defending her Chamber of Deputies mandate this autumn and she wants to only work for her law office, Benesova said.

Deputy Jaroslav Foldyna, CSSD leader in the Usti Region, told Pravo that he believes that the party leadership’s inability to speak to people about problems in a human way is the cause of the departures..

“The membership finds it difficult to perceive the party centre’s stances. Something must be done about this. People must comprehend what we say. They (leaders) use Brussels speak, but people want to hear human speak,” Foldyna said.

Pravo writes that CSSD membership has been decreasing since 2009, when the party had 24,497 members. It dropped by 2209 in the past two years which together with this year’s loss amounts to more than 3000, Pravo writes.

The situation of the junior Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) is the best of the three government coalition parties. It has 25,683 members now, compared to about 26,000 last year, Pravo writes.

It writes that ANO’s membership, though it has been rising, makes up a mere fraction of the number of CSSD members.

As from the end of last year, the movement had 2919 members, now it is some 3500.

The Communists (KSCM) still have the biggest number of members – 39,945. Yet, even the party has been losing members in the long run, also due to their high age, Pravo writes.

It writes that the KSCM had 43,000 members last year and four years ago, there were more than 50,000 KSCM members, Pravo writes.

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