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Poll: Social Democrats losing popularity

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Prague, May 24 (CTK) – The Czech government crisis, that ended with the naming of the new finance minister, Ivan Pilny (ANO), caused the popularity of Social Democrats (CSSD) to lose 4 percent, falling to the current 14 percent as against April, according to a poll conducted by the Median agency and released yesterday.

ANO would be now elected by 26 percent of Czechs, 1.5 percent less than a month ago.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 1052 Czechs over 18 between May 4 and 19.

The government crisis started on May 2, when Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) announced that the whole government would resign over dubious financial transactions of Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO).

Three days later, Sobotka changed his mind and said he would not resign because President Milos Zeman argued that under the constitution only the prime minister should step down.

Sobotka then proposed that only Babis should be dismissed. Today, Babis was replaced with Pilny.

Median analyst Daniel Prokop said Babis had been deserted by some liberal voters, while he won over some Social Democrat conservative voters.

By contrast, Sobotka may be popular with some liberal voters, but they still prefer other parties to the CSSD.

Other parties benefited from the government crisis at the expense of the governing parties.

The poll ratings of the Communists (KSCM) rose by 1 percent to 13.5 percent, those of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) by 0.5 percent to 9.5 percent, of TOP 09 by 1 percent to 9 percent and those of Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) by 0.5 percent to 7 percent.

The five-percent threshold to enter the Chamber of Deputies would also by crossed by the opposition populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

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