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ČSSD board has nothing to do with Zimola’s affairs, Sobotka says

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Prague, April 25 (CTK) – The Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) leadership has nothing to do with the affairs that have toppled South Bohemia Governor Jiri Zimola, PM and CSSD head Bohuslav Sobotka said today in reaction to Zimola’s accusation that the affairs had been coordinated by members of the CSSD leadership.

On the contrary, they have considerably harmed the CSSD, not only in the South Bohemia Region, Sobotka told CTK.

Zimola, the region’s long-serving governor, is one of Sobotka’s main opponents in the CSSD. He previously said he will resign as governor on Thursday over the criticism he faced from the regional opposition and the allied ANO movement.

Sobotka said Zimola should not seek mistakes on the part of others but exclusively of his own.

“The CSSD leadership has nothing in common either with the case of Jiri Zimola’s countryside house or the many-million-crown pay that goes to some people in the South Bohemian Hospitals company. However, these cases have seriously harmed the CSSD, not only in South Bohemia,” Sobotka said.

In last night’s interview with the server, Zimola said out of the affairs that contributed to his resignation, at least the case of his [new] countryside house in Lipno nad Vltavou was coordinated by the CSSD leadership.

He has no evidence to prove this, however.

CSSD deputy chairwoman Michaela Marksova, too, dismissed Zimola’s assertion.

“I can’t imagine the way we, the party leadership, could cause Zimola to build his countryside house in Lipno under the given circumstances,” Marksova told reporters.

It is his own business, she said in reaction to the information that Zimola is going to meet President Milos Zeman, another critic of Sobotka, on Wednesday.

The South Bohemia regional opposition and also ANO criticised the regional CSSD, with Zimola at the head, for granting an excessively high annual income of 7.2 million crowns to Martin Blaha, the South Bohemian Hospitals’ head of the board of directors.

At the same time, Blaha has had a countryside house built for Zimola in Lipno, the critics said.

Zimola called the affairs fabricated, but he announced his resignation and wants to order an audit to clean his tarnished reputation.

A couple of weeks ago, ANO withdrew from the South Bohemia government coalition and each ANO and the CSSD tried to form a new coalition of its own, without the other party’s participation. The CSSD finally succeeded and it will lead the new regional government with Ivana Straska (CSSD) at the head.

($1=24.796 crowns)


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