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Reflex: ČSSD is doomed to be major rival of FinMin

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Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) – The Czech senior government Social Democrats (CSSD) are doomed to be the major rival of Andrej Babis, whose ANO movement has dramatically increased its popularity lead over it after the October regional and Senate elections, Bohumil Pecinka writes in weekly Reflex out yesterday.
Babis, deputy prime minister and finance minister, and his movement performed well in nine out of 13 regions contested, which has led some to see him as the winner of the general election in 2017, Pecinka writes.
He writes that Sobotka’s call for the CSSD’s orientation to the voters of the extra-parliamentary parties of the Greens and Pirates, which he made in reaction to the failure in the regional elections, 11 months before the general election, when the party is losing 10 and more percent on its major rival, is considered treason at war.
Pecinka writes that even three years after the previous general election, Sobtoka and his wing have not got rid of the other camp, that is the remnants of the group of Michal Hasek, leader of the failed coup against Sobotka in the wake of the early general election in 2013, in which he was supported by President Milos Zeman.
The role of the major anti-Babis force may paradoxically bring the CSSD votes from across the political spectrum now that the opposition has failed after three years to be the major opponent of the government and Babis, Pecinka writes.
However, the other parties’ voters would only cast their votes for the CSSD if they were sure that the CSSD has the will to win. For the time being, it seems that Sobotka’s team has begun a march towards an orderly defeat, which can maximally end in the accepting of the degrading senior role in a Babis-controlled government, Pecinka writes.
He writes that the reaction to the open letter Sobotka addressed to his fellow party members after a two-week post-election silence and in which he promised to reform his government and the team of his advisers is another proof of an open rebellion against him.
The chairmen of the two other government coalition parties, Babis and Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL)’s Pavel Belohradek, said they will not replace any of their ministers, Pecinka writes.
He adds that it seems now as if the government had three autonomous prime ministers.
If Sobotka were serious about what he says, the CSSD would have to cease dividing its voters into the correct and the bad ones, the poor in the countryside and the rich in towns, Pecinka writes.
If he really wanted to have an at least theoretical chance of winning the election, he would have to embrace a much broader electorate, Pecinka writes.
He writes that someone should openly say the CSSD wants to integrate former as well as current social strata of voters, from seniors, via teachers, the public administration and small businesspeople to people from factories and agriculture.
It should not labouriously try to win over hipsters from large towns most of whom do not vote for it anyway, but to turn to voters from the times of Milos Zeman, Vladimir Spidla and Jiri Paroubek’ chairmanship, Pecinka writes.
He writes that this would mean bringing to the CSSD people from a broader range of those who left the party in a certain stage of its development, including Paroubek, or people who do not have time to assert themselves through the party, but still enjoy sympathy of certain voter strata or have influence in their environment, Pecinka writes.
Politics is perceived through faces which symbolise certain interests of certain social strata, which also creates its basis. What will the CSSD do? Will it go orderly to the slaughter, or will it make an attempt at victory? Pecinka asks.

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