Prague - All major Czech dailies today comment on the weekend decision on the ruling Social Democrats (CSSD) on an internal referendum on changes in the formation of the party´s lists of election candidates, the share of women and men on the lists and the accumulation of paid public posts.
Zleva Jan Keller, Lubomír Zaorálek, Milan Chovanec a Bohuslav Sobotka na tiskové konferenci ČSSD uspořádané 25. května po oznámení výsledků voleb do Evropského parlamentu. ČTK Šulová Kateřina
The CSSD leadership decided to ask the party members whether they prefer to be a party of old uncles or a party of modern dudes, Miroslav Korecky writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).
CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka is taking a risky step because the modernisation of the Social Democrats would limit the power of regional bosses, Korecky says.
He writes that the CSSD is a party that defends the interests of proletarians, the unemployed and pensioners, in short those who want the state to give them more money rather than a modern party attractive also for young people, university students and graduates and managers.
Though the CSSD voters show that they want a party of uncles, Social Democrat leaders always wished to open the party to all and give it a modern image, Korecky writes.
Sobotka and his supporters believe that the intra-party referendum will stop the apathy to politics and public life in general by lowering the powers of local brotherhoods that prevent anybody new from making a career in the CSSD, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in Pravo.
Jeronym Tejc, one of CSSD leading politicians who tried to oust Sobotka from the post of chairman, played the role of Sobotka´s opponent at the meeting of the CSSD central executive committee that was deciding on the organisation of the referendum on Saturday, Mitrofanov says.
Tejc wanted to include further questions about the church restitution and a special tax imposed on corporations in the referendum, which might have threatened Prime Minister Sobotka´s position in the coalition government if the referendum supported these demands, Mitrofanov writes.
Sobotka´s rival Michal Hasek formally backed the referendum but he took a reserved stance on it, he writes.
Sobotka and his camp want to use the referendum only as an instrument against their opponents in the party, Martin Zverina writes in Lidove noviny (LN).
Quota for women, primary elections and accumulation of posts are to reduce the influence of Hasek and others, Zverina writes.
The way, in which the questions for the referendum are formulated is not good and they can totally discredit the institute of a referendum, Zverina says.
But it seems that the CSSD is not even aware of it, he writes.