published: 31.01.2013, 07:16 | updated: 31.01.2013 07:21:39
Prague - The often repeated view that Czechs want a president who would unite the society and that the division of society into the left and the right has been overcome now is untrue, Lenka Zlamalova says in Lidove noviny today, referring to an opinion poll accompanying the recent presidential election.
The poll conducted by the Median agency showed that Milos Zeman (former socialist PM) was the type of candidate whom voters longed for and who corresponded to their moods and the atmosphere in society.
Most people - supporters of both Zeman and his rival, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, did not want a uniting president but a strong one, who would influence the government, would have controversial opinions and put an emphasis on patriotism, Zlamalova points out.
It is not true that young and rich people and entrepreneurs clearly preferred Schwarzenberg while lower-income groups and pensioners clearly supported Zeman, Zlamalova continues.
The only clear division line appeared among the left- and the right-oriented voters. Zeman was acceptable for 80 percent of those left-oriented, Schwarzenberg for 72 percent of the right wingers, Zlamalova writes, referring to the Median poll results.
The senior opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) face the difficult question of how intensively they should cooperate with the Citizens´ Rights Party (SPOZ) of which President-Elect Milos Zeman is honorary chairman, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo.
The CSSD is supported by two main pillars. The first one are the voters who back the CSSD as a leftist party only because it vows to improve their living standard, irrespective of the methods used, Mitrofanov says.
The second group backing the CSSD is the "cultural left," or those who consider the social aspect important but they cannot imagine the welfare state being promoted by other than clean methods, with respect for freedom and democracy, Mitrofanov says.
The CSSD´s tight alliance with the SPOZ would satisfy the former group of the CSSD supporters, Mitrofanov continues.
These people resent symbols of the cultural left, such as CSSD deputy head, senator and unsuccessful presidential candidate Jiri Dienstbier, whom some delegates to the upcoming CSSD congress will try to oust from the party leadership, Mitrofanov says.
By ousting Dienstbier, the CSSD would lose support of the "cultural left" and it would approximate the SPOZ more easily. The SPOZ, however, would undermine the CSSD´s position of the future leading government party, Mitrofanov adds.
In Hospodarske noviny, commentator Jiri Leschtina discusses the controversial sCard project of electronic social cards, which the Personal Protection Data Office (UOOU) says is at variance with law and must be changed.
The sCard, a bureaucratic project masterminded by former labour and social affairs minister Jaromir Drabek and his deputy Vladimir Siska, bound 98 percent of welfare recipients to compulsorily use something that was quite unnecessary, Leschtina writes.
Not only did the state involve millions of people in an unnecessary bureaucratic project, but it also threatened to stop paying out welfare to the recipients unless they join the sCard system. This, however, was not based on law. No law sets such a duty for the recipients, Leschtina writes.
After Drabek´s fall, PM Petr Necas declared the project of compulsory cards "dead." Nevertheless, the sCard system has survived, though using the card is no longer compulsory for welfare recipients, Leschtina recalls.
Although Necas asserts the opposite, he must have known about the project´s controversial aspects beforehand, because Ombudsman Pavel Varvarovsky had repeatedly warned the government that the SCard plan implied discrimination, Leschtina writes.
The government should scrap the project that is a symbol of the social arrogance of the state, he adds.
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