published: 02.11.2013, 13:09 | updated: 02.11.2013 13:14:29
Prague - Bohuslav Sobotka, whose position as Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman was challenged by his rivals in the party after last weekend´s elections, has gained the upper hand in the conflict but he has not won definitively yet, Jiri Hanak writes in daily Pravo today.
He still needs to be confirmed as leader by the CSSD Central Executive Committee (UVV) next weekend. Let´s suppose the UVV will do so, in accordance with common sense, Hanak writes.
Only afterwards, however, Sobotka will be faced with the tough task to get the CSSD rid of the putschists led by the party first deputy chairman Michal Hasek, Hanak writes.
Sobotka will have to show resoluteness combined with diplomacy. The putschists should not be expelled from the party but should be consistently unseated from all important posts in it, Hanak says.
This does not apply only to Hasek and his three best known allies, CSSD deputies´ group Jeronym Tejc, CSSD deputy chairman Zdenek Skromach and South Bohemian governor Jiri Zimola, since the "disease" is rooted much deeper in the party. Without pacifying the rebels, the CSSD´s next election gain may be even worse than the current 20 percent of the vote, which it considers dissatisfactory, Hanak writes.
In Lidove noviny (LN), Martin Zverina challenges the widespread opinion that the unseating or even expulsion of the "putschists" from the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) is the only way towards the CSSD´s unity and shining prospects.
This belief is quite illusory. Even if the putschists, who failed to force out CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka´s resignation earlier this week, were punished, the CSSD would still remain split into two wings, each of which represents real voters, Zverina says.
In the October 25-26 general election, Sobotka and Hasek each received about the same number of preferential votes. Each was given preferential votes from a group of fans supporting the performance and policy of his and his wing in the party, Zverina writes.
If one of the two significant groups of voters were deprived of their representatives in the CSSD leadership, it would be a question of time when a new such group would emerge, he says.
Punishing the putschists is one thing, and keeping the unity of the CSSD deputies´ group for the whole four-year election term is another thing, Zverina writes.
Even if the CSSD deputies´ reached unity now, President Milos Zeman will definitely take efforts to torpedo it quickly, Zverina adds.
Before the recent elections, Social Democrat (CSSD) head Bohuslav Sobotka and ANO leader Andrej Babis lashed at each other with words full of contempt, but the election outcome has brought their parties close to each other and negotiations are to be held on whether Sobotka and Babis will be part of the new government, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes elsewhere in Pravo.
Billionaire Babis´s new movement ANO ended strong second in the October 25-26 polls, after the CSSD.
The existing variants are the government participation of both the CSSD and ANO (together with the Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and the CSSD minority government kept afloat by ANO. Another variant is that Babis would prevent the emergence of a Sobotka-led cabinet, Mitrofanov writes.
If so, Babis would not do it in a striking, conspicuous way. Now that the government-forming talks are still ahead, Babis has refused to give a clear position and unveil his intentions, also in order not to irritate his voters, Mitrofanov writes.
Babis´s supporters´ common denominator is their resentment of the traditional political parties. That is why it is hard to say how big a portion of voters ANO would lose if it joined the government, and, on the contrary, how many fans would condemn it for failing to use the opportunity, Mitrofanov writes.
That is why Babis has been making statements that are contradictory and veil his real intentions. Babis is toying with the CSSD as a cat with a mouse, Mitrofanov adds.
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