Prague - Over one-fourth of the votes cast in the recent Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) party referendum were invalid, the party's press department told CTK today.
Sociální demokraté sčítali 6. srpna v Praze hlasy vnitrostranického referenda, které může výrazně ovlivnit budoucnost strany. Hlasování rozhodne například o způsobu výběru kandidátů do voleb, zastoupení žen na kandidátkách nebo kumulaci funkcí. ČTK Doležal Michal
The Social Democrat leader, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, said these were no protest votes.
The voting system was not quite simple, Sobotka said.
Over 52 percent of the Social Democrats participated in the internal referendum, which means that the vote was valid.
Out of the 22,500 party members, 11,783 took part in the referendum.
Out of the three referendum questions, most Social Democrats consider the most important the question whether all party members or only part of its elites (like at present) should assist in selecting election candidates.
The other two questions decided on women's stronger representation on the lists of candidates for general and regional elections (at least 40 percent) and on preventing the plurality of offices.
"This was the first such a vote in the party. The system connected with the verification paper is not simple. In a next referendum, the number of invalid votes will certainly decrease," Sobotka said.
As the referendum is binding, the party will change its rules accordingly next year.