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ČSSD members attend funeral of Zeman’s former aide

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Prague, Feb 24 (CTK) – Some long-term Czech Social Democrats (CSSD), including former top officials, along with the family members and friends attended the funeral of Czech political lobbyist Miroslav Slouf, former close aide to President Milos Zeman, in a Prague-Strasnice crematorium on Saturday.

Slouf died after a long serious illness a week ago, at the age of 69 years.

The Presidential Office was represented by Zeman’s adviser Martin Nejedly at Slouf’s funeral. Zeman sent a bunch flowers there, his office said previously.

However, none of the current CSSD representatives came to the event.

Out of the former CSSD politicians, the funeral guests included former foreign minister Jan Kavan, ex-senator Vladimir Dryml and former deputies Karel Splichal a Jana Volfova.

Current CSSD MP Jaroslav Foldyna, who also attended the funeral, said Slouf had contributed to the rise of the CSSD in the 1990s by his professional experience and personal friendship.

This is why Foldyna expressed regret at the fact that none of the CSSD current leaders had taken part in Slouf’s funeral.

Slouf was a member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (KSC) from the mid-1970s to 1991, he was a member of the parliament in 1981-1992 and a member of the Communist Youth Association (SSM) leadership.

He later joined the CSSD and became CSSD chairman Zeman’s aide. He organised the CSSD election campaigns and helped Zeman succeed and form a government in the late 1990s.

In 2003, Zeman failed to be elected president, he retired from politics and later left the CSSD. In 2008, Slouf was one of the founders of the Friends of Milos Zeman group that wanted to return Zeman to public life. Slouf said he had helped Zeman in the campaign before the 2013 presidential election. But their friendly relations ended after Zeman was elected president.

Slouf was a controversial figure related to several scandals. He admitted his contacts with the murdered mafia boss Frantisek Mrazek. As a chief aide to PM Zeman (1997-2002), Slouf was connected with a plan to discredit then CSSD leading politician Petra Buzkova in 2000.

Slouf was not involved in public life in the past few years anymore. Media reported about his serious health condition of late.

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