published: 29.10.2013, 19:23 | updated: 29.10.2013 19:26:49
Prague - The Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) deputies elected Jeronym Tejc, a member of CSSD deputy head Michal Hasek´s wing in the divided party, as their chairman today, preferring him to the rival candidate Jan Hamacek.
The CSSD won the weekend early general polls but its gain of 50 seats in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies is lower than expected. It wants to conduct government-forming talks with the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
Today´s election of the CSSD deputies´ head took place in a tense situation where the CSSD presidium on Sunday called on Bohuslav Sobotka to step down over the party´s weak result in the weekend general polls and ousted him from the party´s government-negotiating team.
Speaking of an attempted putsch staged by Hasek and his allies in the party, Sobotka refused to step down. He said he would do so only if unseated by the party´s relevant body, which is the central executive committee.
The government-negotiating team, whose leadership the presidium entrusted to Sobotka´s rival Hasek by the 20-13 vote, fell apart today after it was gradually left by all its four members.
A new team is to be established on Thursday.
The open rift between Sobotka and Hasek´s wings broke out in the wake of the polls, deeply dividing the party. Many in and outside the CSSD have called it "a political suicide."
In the CSSD´s secret ballot today, Tejc was elected the deputies´ group chairman in the second election round, supported by 30 deputies. Sixteen deputies supported Hamacek.
Tejc also headed the CSSD group in the previous Chamber of Deputies, which dissolved itself in August.
After the vote today, Tejc said "passions must be undoubtedly calmed down. All of us today tried hard today to prevent the developments the CSSD experienced in the past hours from continuing in the days and weeks to come," Tejc said.
He said the whole CSSD group wants the election-winning CSSD to form a new government as a senior ruling party.
Tejc said he would consider it logical if he became a part of the new team of government-forming negotiators.
Commenting on Tejc´s election, Hasek said he considers his mandate very strong and expects Tejc to join the new negotiating team.
Sobotka did not comment on Tejc´s election.
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