Prague - All Czech papers today comment on the weekend congress of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), former senior government party, that totally failed in the early general election in October and that elected political scientist Petr Fiala, an ODS member for a mere seven months, to its head.
Dvoudenní kongres Občanské demokratické strany (ODS) se konal 18. ledna v Olomouci v prostorách kongresového centra Clarion Congress Hotel Olomouc. ČTK Peřina Luděk
Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) that the ODS undoubtedly underwent changes at the congress, but the key to its future and actually to the future of the whole Czech right rests in the answers to three questions: Has it changed enough? Has it changed correctly in all respects? Is it not already too late?
The ODS has changed, but it did not do it sufficiently shrewdly and it did not outline a clear prospect. It has not died, but it has not been saved either, Honzejk writes.
The new team of Petr Fiala now has terribly little time: European Parliament elections will be held in four months and the local elections will follow in the autumn, Jidrich Sidlo writes elsewhere in Hospodarske nviny (HN).
These results will be much more important than the Saturday elections of the ODS leadership, he adds.
If the results are not a little bit better than those of last autumn (early general election), no one will be fighting for a position in the ODS´s leadership next time, Sidlo writes.
Karel Steigerwald writes in Mlada fronta Dnes that the tidying up of the shop windows has been completed, now it is time to do the same at the backstage.
He writes that the new chairman, Petr Fiala, is witty and he has a sense of self-irony, which is good for the beginning.
Miroslava Nemcova, who failed to be elected deputy chairwoman, is an excellent candidate for president. A huge human and cultural refreshment would replace the current burly man at Prague Castle (Milos Zeman), if she were elected, Steigerwald writes.
He writes that elsewhere there are no quality candidates for presidency and to have a good one prepared is always positive.
The ODS congress delegates probably did well for the party when they completely changed the deputy chairpersons, but on the other hand they did not elect any unknown faces, but persons who have already several times succeeded in elections, Jan Martinek writes in Pravo.
Two of the new deputy chairmen, MEPs Jan Zahradil and Evzen Tosenovsky, can be perceived as the party´s inventory. They were present in the party´s key moments, but at the same time they adroitly concealed their co-responsibility in Brussels asylum, Martinek writes.
The question is whether the delegates´ bet on a "decent man," Petr Fiala, whom they elected party chairman, will also be good for opposition work in the Chamber of Deputies, Martinek writes.
The time has changed and it is to be feared that "decent guys" will not hold their own when faced by representatives of populist movements in the opposition benches, Martinek writes.