Thursday, 23 November 2017

Christian Democrats likely to go into opposition

ČTK |
25 October 2017

Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) - The board of the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) recommended to the party on Tuesday that it should go into opposition and not support any minority government either, party leader Pavel Belobradek said.

The final decision will be made at the party's national conference on Friday, Belobradek said.

He repeated that the election was unsuccessful and that on Friday he would let the party decide on whether he should resign.

"We believe that a combination advantageous for the Czech Republic with the participation the KDU-CSL or worth its support is not in the making," Belobradek said.

"It is also a sign of our humble approach and soul-searching because we did not receive such a mandate from voters as we deserve. It is necessary to concentrate on the work inside the party and to eliminate mistakes," Belobradek said.

"We will be certainly a constructive opposition that will not reject everything just because it may be proposed by the government, we will not be saying that the government makes everything wrongly if it is not true," he added.

"If it makes sense, we will back it. It is vital for us to be able to fight against the dissolution of the parliamentary democratic system from the opposition, too," Belobradek said.

The party board stated that the KDU-CSL had failed in the election. Compared to 2013, the party lost some 40,000 votes and four deputy mandates.

The party received 5.8 percent of the vote in the weekend election to the Chamber of Deputies, won by Andrej Babis' ANO.

"We have agreed that there was a combination of communication and some mistakes we made," Belobradek said, adding that the mistakes were made both by him and the party as a whole.

Belobradek said the national conference would decide on whether he would be given trust again.

He said he did not expect other members of the party board to leave on Friday.

"It is necessary that at least the first deputy chairman or the board continue so that we have a party leadership," he added.

"Voters told us clearly that they do not want us to be in the government, that they see us in the opposition," KDU-CSL deputy chairman Ondrej Benesik said.

It is up to the parties which gained a stronger mandate than the Christian Democrats to assume the responsibility and agree on the creation of a government, Benesik said, adding that he had in mind the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the Pirates and the populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

Benesik said if the national conference decided that it should negotiate on its entering the government, he would resign.

Another deputy chairman, Jan Bartosek, too, said he was for the party going into opposition.

They said on Tuesday's decision of the party board had been unanimous.

Bartosek and Benesik said they wanted Belobradek to keep the post of party leader.

The next party congress is scheduled for spring 2019.

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