published: 04.11.2013, 18:45 | updated: 04.11.2013 18:47:05
Prague - Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) leader Bohuslav Sobotka gained the upper hand in his covert duel with the party's first deputy chairman Michal Hasek in the past week.
Last Sunday, the CSSD presidium Sobotka asked to resign, arguing with the party's poor showing in the late October general election, for which he was responsible.
Besides, the presidium withdrew Sobotka from the negotiating team for the new government and named Hasek instead of him.
This happened after a secret meeting of five Social Democrat senior officials, including Hasek, with President Milos Zeman in the presidential chateau in Lany, central Bohemia. However, though fiercely denied by its participants, it was revealed to the general public.
The participants were uncovered as blatant liars and most Social Democrats openly sided with Sobotka.
Sobotka's prominent position is likely to be confirmed by the Social Democrat central executive committee (UVV) on November 10, while Hasek's political career seems all but ended.
The atmosphere at the UVV meeting, from which Sobotka expects to end the duel, may be influenced by the meetings of Social Democrat regional organisations.
They started meeting last week. So far, they have expressed unambiguous support to Sobotka.
This has occurred in the Karlovy Vary, Plzen, Olomouc and Vysocina Regions.
Most of the regional organisations have called on the participants in the Lany meeting to resign.
Hasek only narrowly lost the 2011 election for the post of party leader to Sobotka.
The Lany meeting was also attended by CSSD deputy chairmen Zdenek Skromach and Milan Chovanec, head of the Social Democrat deputy group Jeronym Tejc and South Bohemia regional governor Jiri Zimola.
After the meeting was disclosed, Sobotka refused to resign and called it an "attempted coup."
Hasek repeatedly denied the meeting in public, though Chovanec openly admitted its having been held.
Due to this, the calls for the resignation of the five Social Democrat senior officials started to be heard. The first to ask them to resign was Senate chairman Milan Stech.
Demonstrations were held in support of Sobotka in Prague and Brno.
Sobotka then declared that he did not reckon with Hasek, Tejc and Skromach in a next government.
Social Democrats in other regions are discussing further developments amid a stormy debate.
They only received 20.5 percent in the general election, though they were widely expected to obtain at least 5 percent more.
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