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Sobotka’s opponent Zimola not to run in autumn elections

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Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, May 29 (CTK) – Former South Bohemia governor Jiri Zimola said on Monday he would not run for Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) in the autumn election to the Chamber of Deputies.

Zimola made the decision after a meeting of the party’s regional committee on Monday.

Earlier this month, the CSSD board deleted Zimola from the party’s list of candidates. He was in the last, 22nd place.

Zimola resigned as regional governor over the case of his recreation house in Lipno nad Vltavou, south Bohemia, and excessive remuneration in the Jihoceske nemocnice health company. He dismisses any wrongdoing.

Party head and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the CSSD did not want to be burdened in the election campaign with the problems that led to Zimola’s resignation in April.

Zimola said earlier this was just an excuse with which to eliminate him as a critic from the party.

“I arrived at the decision some time ago. Actually I anticipated how the Social Democrat board will decide,” Zimola said.

“We in southern Bohemia do not want to be labelled as those who are to blame for the Social Democrat defeat,” he added.

“We want to make the most for the result in the election to be the best possible,” Zimola said.

However, the South Bohemia Social Democrats said the decision could not be interpreted as their agreement with Zimola’s withdrawal from the list of candidates.

“The regional executive committee still disagrees with Zimola’s elimination,” Jaromir Novak, deputy chairman of the South Bohemia Social Democrat branch, said.

“I have to appreciate the approach of Zimola who called on all on the list of candidates to keep their positions,” Novak said.

Zimola repeated on Monday he wanted neither to leave the Social Democrats nor to run for any other party.

Zimola held the post of South Bohemia governor between autumn 2008 and this April.

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