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ČSSD approves election leaders, candidates in eight regions

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Prague, April 21 (CTK) – The Czech senior government Social Democrats’ (CSSD) leadership approved the leaders and lists of candidates for the October general election in eight regions today and it will decide on the remaining six regions on May 12, CSSD chairman and PM Bohuslav Sobotka has told reporters.

The eight approved lists of candidates will be subject to vote in the regions where each member of the respective CSSD regional organisation can comment on them, Sobotka said.

The decision on the election leaders has not been made in the South Bohemia and South Moravia regions and in Prague where Sobotka is supposed to lead the list of candidates.

Health Minister Miloslav Ludvik who is heading the Prague CSSD, was discussed as a possible election leader in the capital. However, he announced recently that he would not contest this post. According to the media, he decided so since he had failed to push through his idea of the candidates’ list.

A candidate for the CSSD’s election leader in South Bohemia was local mayor Stanislav Mrvka, while South Bohemia CSSD organisation head Jiri Zimola, who was also the regional governor until recently, was to be 22nd, at the very bottom of the candidates’ list. It is not clear whether this order will change after his resignation from the region’s helm.

Jan Hamacek, CSSD and Chamber of Deputies deputy head, should be the election leader in Central Bohemia, followed by Education Minister Katerina Valachova, according to the CSSD leadership’s proposal.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec should lead the candidates in the Plzen Region and Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova in the Liberec Region.

MP Marketa Wernerova will be the election leader in the Karlovy Vary Region, CSSD deputy chairman and its election campaign manager Jan Birke in the Hradec Kralove Region, while MPs Antonin Seda and Roman Vana would lead the candidates in the Zlin and Olomouc regions, respectively.

Sobotka also named Vysocina Governor Jiri Behounek, who would run for the CSSD as unaffiliated, the election leader in this region.

The selected leaders must now receive an absolute majority of the vote in their regions.

Sobotka said that until the election, the CSSD would like to focus on pushing through the government bills submitted to a debate in parliament, such as the proposed maximum retirement age of 65 years and a higher pension indexation.

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