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New regional coalition formed in South Bohemia

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Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, April 18 (CTK) – Representatives of the Social Democrats (CSSD), Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the South Bohemians 2012 movement and the For South Bohemia group signed an agreement on cooperation in a coalition in the South Bohemia Region on Tuesday.

The regional assembly must yet approve the nascent coalition at its extraordinary meeting on April 27.

The CSSD, KDU-CSL, South Bohemians 2012 and For South Bohemia have 28 mandates in the 55-seat regional assembly.

The former coalition of the CSSD, the ANO movement and South Bohemians 2012, formed after the 2016 regional election, fell apart last week because of disputes between the Social Democrats and ANO mainly about high bonuses for the management of the Jihoceske nemocnice (South Bohemian Hospitals) regional organisation.

The CSSD, ANO and KDU-CSL are members of the current Czech coalition government.

“We believe that this (new regional) coalition will be stable,” KDU-CSL South Bohemian organisation head Jan Bartosek said.

However, the new coalition members have not yet agreed on the line-up of the regional leadership.

Each coalition member should be represented in the regional government, current deputy regional governor Ivana Straska (CSSD) said.

ANO was trying to form a regional coalition as well. It addressed the same partners as the CSSD and besides, it intended to cooperate with the Civic Democrats (ODS). However, representatives of the KDU-CSL, South Bohemians 2012 and For South Bohemia prefer governing with the CSSD.

The conflict between the main members of the former regional coalition, the CSSD and ANO, erupted at the March assembly meeting.

ANO criticised the CSSD for Martin Blaha, president of Jihoceske nemocnice board, receiving 7.2 million crowns annually. Moreover, ANO pointed out that Blaha had a weekend house built for regional governor Jiri Zimola (CSSD) in Lipno nad Vltavou resort.

Zimola announced his resignation from the post on April 11 in reaction to the criticism.

“We insist on changing the system of remuneration of the Jihoceske nemocnice management,” For South Bohemia leader Jiri Svec said.

The other coalition partners share this view, including the CSSD that is in charge of the regional healthcare facilities.

The opposition assemblymen also criticised the financing of the hospital board members as well as Zimola’s weekend house in Lipno. They gained sufficient support for holding an extraordinary assembly meeting.

This is why Zimola convoked the meeting for April 27. He will resign from the post of regional governor there and will not be running for it any more.

Zimola has proposed his deputy Straska for a new governor.

She said on Tuesday Zimola was not considering filling any post in the new regional coalition.

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