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Právo: Social Democrats sack US advisors

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Prague, Aug 15 (CTK) – Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) have ended cooperation with U.S. advisors before their campaign for the October general election, daily Pravo wrote on Tuesday.

In their frantic efforts to gain voters, the Social Democrats have changed tack, Pravo writes.

Instead of staging rallies at squares, the party’s senior officials communicate with people at various public events, it adds.

CSSD election leader Lubomir Zaoralek has said he was not satisfied with the way the party was working.

“I did not like the aesthetics of the campaigns and I was even quarrelling over it. The form is not crucial, but it is a certain bearer of information,” Zaoralek said.

Unlike Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, former party leader, Zaoralek has refused to rely on the U.S. advisors, Juliana Smoot and Dan Kanninen, who were involved in the presidential campaign for Hillary Clinton, Pravo writes.

Since spring, there was a very active communication between them and the Social Democrat senior officials, it adds.

Instead, Zaoralek invited to Prague Slovak Robert Zanony, who was in charge of the campaign of current Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democrats), Pravo writes.

“If the election succeeds, I would also like to remake the aesthetics of the People’s House,” Zaoralek says about the party’s headquarters in Prague.

He said the headquarters lacked modernity and subtlety.

The Social Democrats, whose poll ratings are about 14 percent, have given up many public rallies, which constituted the backbone of their contact campaign a few years ago.

Zanony said the times when voters were ready to listen to political speeches were over.

“People cannot be expected to actively look for politicians’ company. They have thousands of other forms of entertainment. This is why politicians should go to see voters. This is nothing new, this is the basic law of a campaign,” Zanony told the paper.

Zaoralek has surprised the public by attending a festivity in Tachov, west Bohemia, celebrating the 15th-century Hussite movement by appearing there in a medieval costume, Pravo writes.

He said in the forthcoming campaign he was primarily guided by his own ideas, it adds.

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