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PM Sobotka hits back at party critics

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister and Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman Bohuslav Sobotka called yesterday on his critics in the party to run for the CSSD’s head at the congress where he would be defending his post.
Those who spent the past week criticising the CSSD chairman have a chance to take responsibility and run for the party leader as well, Sobotka said.
The news server wrote previously that Sobotka’s words were aimed at MP Jeronym Tejc and South Bohemia Regional Governor Jiri Zimola.
After the October regional elections, in which the CSSD failed, Sobotka was criticised by Tejc and Zimola.
Last week, Zimola said the CSSD should consider dividing the posts of prime minister and party chairman between two people. Bohuslav Sobotka is groping in the dark and he should undergo a self-reflexion and agree with the division of posts, Zimola said.
Sobotka called it nonsense.
The party’s further heading should be discussed at the March congress that will elect its leadership, he said.
After a meeting with Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), yesterday, Sobotka said his critics should contest the party’s leadership.
“The CSSD will have its (election) congress soon. If some people spent the past weeks criticising the chairman, they all have a chance to run. Not to hide, but assume responsibility and put their head above the parapet,” he told CTK.
Tejc will run for CSSD first deputy chairman. The CSSD municipal executive committee in Brno supported his candidacy on Monday. He said he would not run for the party chairman.
No one has announced to contest Sobotka’s chairmanship yet.
In reaction to Sobotka’s words, both Tejc and Zimola said yesterday they did not intend to run for the CSSD chairman at the March congress.
Tejc told CTK that he expected praise rather than criticism from Sobotka for his decision not to run for CSSD chairman. He added that Sobotka was apparently difficult to please.
“If I had announced my candidature for CSSD chairman on Monday, I would have certainly heard rightful criticism from him yesterday for weakening the prime minister and threatening the result of the autumn (general) election,” Tejc texted to CTK.
Zimola said there was no need for Sobotka’s call.
“I do not let myself be drawn into the starting ‘wars of the roses.’ If Bohuslav Sobotka cares for the CSSD, he should avoid similar appeals,” Zimola said.

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