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South Bohemia Governor Zimola resigns, ČSSD wants new coalition

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Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, April 11 (CTK) – The South Bohemia Region’s Governor Jiri Zimola (Social Democrats, CSSD), is leaving his post and he will officially resign at the closest meeting of the regional body, he said today adding that the CSSD will attempt to form a new coalition.

The coalition would be comprised in addition to the CSSD by the South Bohemians 2012 movement, the For South Bohemia coalition and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Zimola said.

He said he would propose to it his deputy Ivana Straska for the CSSD.

Zimola’s resignation was the necessary condition for the CSSD to be able to negotiate about a new coalition in South Bohemia and prevent an alliance between ANO and the Civic Democrats (ODS), CSSD chairman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told reporters today.

He added that it was ANO that had broken up the regional coalition.

Zimola is one of Sobotka’s opponents in the party.

The former coalition, which was formed by the CSSD, the ANO movement and South Bohemians 2012 after the 2016 regional election, fell apart on Monday.

This was caused by a dispute between the CSSD and ANO over high bonuses for the management of the Jihoceske nemocnice (South Bohemian Hospitals).

ANO wants to seek new coalition partners and it addressed the ODS on Monday already.

Zimola has dismissed ANO’s criticism and said it is only a pretext to change the coalition.

“I have made the decision because the current political situation in South Bohemia requires a clear and manly solution. During the past weeks, I faced an enormous pressure when explosive cases were pulled out and presented as a pretext to break up the coalition,” Zimola said.

He said he will try to prevent an ANO-headed coalition to lead the region. The coalition of the CSSD, the For South Bohemia coalition, the KDU-CSL and the South Bohemians 2012 would have 28 assembly members out of the total of 55.

“We have already started negotiating and I have a good feeling from it,” Zimola said.

A meeting of the regional body is to be held on May 11, but the opposition parties, the ODS, KDU-CSL and the Pro South Bohemia coalition want to convoke an extraordinary meeting. ANO also supports this.

The opposition and later also ANO criticised the CSSD for that Martin Blaha, president of Jihoceske nemocnice board, has an income of 7.2 million crowns annually.

They also criticised the fact that Blaha is having a weekend house built for Zimola in Lipno nad Vltavou, south Bohemia.

“These are pseudo cases and my colleagues (from the CSSD) support me,” Zimola said on Monday.

Zimola was elected to the head of South Bohemia in 2008, 2012 and again in 2016. He participated in the abortive “Lany coup” as a meeting between several CSSD members and President Milos Zeman after the 2013 general election, aimed to topple Sobotka, was called.

($1=25.082 crowns)


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