published: 15.03.2013, 18:00 | updated: 15.03.2013 18:06:50
Ostrava - Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) leader Bohuslav Sobotka was re-elected to the post at the party's congress today.
Out of the 582 valid votes, Sobotka received 507 in a secret ballot held at the party's 37th congress.
In all, there are over 600 delegates to the congress.
Upon his election, Sobotka told journalists it was his main task to lead the party to the election victory with such a gain of votes with which it could form a government with the Social Democrat manifesto.
Sobotka thanked the "friends" from the CSSD for trust and support.
"I consider the mandate I have received very strong and I esteem it," Sobotka said, adding that he would treat it in a considerate, resolute and active way.
He called on his fellow party members to cooperate to the benefit of the election success next year.
Sobotka said the CSSD still had a large road before it that it had to walk on.
"Unity is a vital condition of the success," Sobotka said.
He went on to say that he wanted to make a reshuffle in the Social Democrat shadow government.
Sobotka said he could see two alternatives of the post-election arrangement in the event of the CSSD's victory in the mid-2014 general election.
The first is a majority coalition along with centrist parties, the second a minority government based on an agreement on the left, Sobotka said.
"The latter would naturally include the Communists," he added.
Sobotka said if a vote were taken at the current congress, he would be against the resolution that would rescind the ban on cooperation with the Communists on the governmental level.
He said the resolution, passed in the mid-1990s, did not preclude a minority government with the Communist backing.
Sobotka said after eight years in opposition, the Social Democrats clearly owed a victory to the voters.
Employment is the party's priority and revival of the economy its crucial aim, he added.
The second task is reconstruction of the state.
"The rightist reform has brought about an erosion of the state. It has weakened it and the state has almost ceased to work," Sobotka said.
"Taxes are rising and the quality of public services is deteriorating," Sobotka said.
The third task is to revise this government's rightist reform wherever it affected the general public, the disabled, if the budget allows for this, he added.
"The manifesto we will be drafting now should be heading for a government that will always try to act fairly," Sobotka said.
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