published: 06.09.2013, 17:36 | updated: 06.09.2013 18:12:15
Prague - The Civic Democrats (ODS) leadership today approved the lists of candidates for the Czech early general election due on October 25-26 that were formed by the party´s regional branches.
ODS acting chairman Martin Kuba will be the ODS leading candidate in the South Bohemian Region. Miroslava Nemcova, ODS deputy chairwoman, will be the leader in Prague.
The only change the leadership made was adding former MP Ivana Weberova on the list.
Some experienced politicians were not put on the list, for example the party´s deputy chairman Tomas Chalupa, from the Prague branch. In Prague, two camps clashed, one headed by former mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and the other by Chalupa. Influential Prague ODS politician Boris Stastny even left the party two weeks ago.
Kuba said the party´s campaign will also focus on the Internet and social networks.
Next to a motorway near its headquarters in Prague, the ODS displayed a billboard with the slogan I Vote for the Right Wing and the party´s link to its account on Twitter.
But the billboard does not clearly say it promotes the ODS.
"We are aware of the social situation and we approach the campaign with humility but also with self-confidence in our own powers and our tradition," Kuba said in a statement.
The ODS has been the right-wing leader since the early 1990s, but opinion polls show that TOP 09 is more popular now. The ODS is currently only the fourth most popular party according to polls and bookmakers even offer bets whether it would enter parliament in the forthcoming election.
In 2006 the ODS won the general election with 35.4 percent of the vote, in the 2010 election it gained 20.2 percent. In both cases, it was the senior partner of the coalition government that the election produced.
The latest poll by Median agency showed the ODS is preferred only by 13.5 percent of voters and the ppm factum agency even calculated it was 8 percent.
The Civic Democrats were the last party in parliament to officially approve its candidates running in the country´s 14 regions.
Petr Bendl, head of the ODS Central Bohemia regional branch, said he expects the campaign to be less expensive and more modest than in the past.
Marek Benda, who headed the ODS group in the Chamber of Deputies, said the leadership and regional representatives would be discussing the campaign schedule today.
The Chamber of Deputies dissolved itself last month to provoke early election, after not giving confidence to the interim government of Jiri Rusnok that President Milos Zeman appointed against the will of most parties in parliament.
In June, the centre-right government of Petr Necas resigned over a bribing and illegal spying scandal. Necas stepped down as ODS leader for the same reason, too. His government was rather unpopular, also due to the austerity measures it adopted in reaction to the economic crisis.
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