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Re-elected President Zeman to attend ČSSD election congress

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Prague, Jan 27 (CTK) – Re-elected Czech President Milos Zeman plans to attend the Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) election congress to be held in Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia, in February to which CSSD acting head Chovanec invited him on Saturday, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK on Saturday.

Zeman, former CSSD chairman and PM in 1998-2002, who left the CSSD in 2007, was not invited to the CSSD previous congress that re-elected then PM Bohuslav Sobotka as party chairman.

Zeman had quite tense relations with part of the CSSD of late, while some Social Democrats (CSSD) supported him repeatedly.

Chovanec, who arrived in Zeman’s election centre on Saturday to congratulate him on his victory, told reporters that he cannot imagine that Zeman would not attend the CSSD congress.

On February 18, the Social Democrats (CSSD) are to elect a new leadership after its debacle in the last October general election.

The CSSD, senior member of the previous coalition government with ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), gained only 7.3 percent of the vote in October, compared to 20.5 percent four years ago, and left for opposition.

The government ANO has interrupted talks on the next government with the Social Democrats until its new leadership is elected at the February congress, ANO head and PM Andrej Babis said recently.

Chovanec, who has been heading the party since Sobotka stepped down last year, has not confirmed yet that he will run for the CSSD chairman. He is supposed to make up his mind at a regional conference in Plzen, west Bohemia, on Sunday.

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