Sunday, 22 April 2018

PM Sobotka rejects call for his resignation as deputy

ČTK |
27 November 2017

Breclav, South Moravia, Nov 25 (CTK) - Outgoing Czech PM and former Social Democrats (CSSD) head Bohuslav Sobotka will not give up his deputy's mandate for which a regional conference of the CSSD branch in South Moravia called on Saturday due to the party's poor election results, he told CTK on Saturday.

"I have an MP's mandate thanks to CSSD voters who gave me more than 7,000 preferential votes in South Moravia, which was the second best result among CSSD candidates in the whole country," Sobotka said.

Besides, his mother district organisation in Vyskov, south Moravia, scored the party's best election result in the country, and this is why he can see no reason for leaving the Chamber of Deputies, he added.

"I will not allow a pressure organised by several Brno officials to intimidate or discourage me beforehand," he stressed, adding that he was pushing for the Social Democratic values in good and bad times.

Seventy-eight members of the South Moravian CSSD organisation voted for Sobotka's resignation, 33 were against it and 14 abstained from the vote on the respective resolution, South Moravian CSSD branch secretary Michal Skerle told CTK.

The resolution, adopted at the regional conference, says the CSSD's election result was a debacle, while Sobotka bears the main political responsibility for this.

The CSSD, senior member of the outgoing coalition government with ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), suffered a fiasco in the October general election. It gained mere 7.3 percent of the vote, compared to 20.5 percent four years ago, and its group in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies shrank from 50 to 15 members.

Sobotka, who comes from South Moravia and led the CSSD's list of candidates in this region, did not attend the conference in Breclav on Saturday.

CSSD national election leader and outgoing Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and the party's acting head and outgoing Interior Minister Milan Chovanec did not take part in the conference either.

A number of CSSD members criticised them for this.

"They could have heard a feedback and opinions of rank-and-file members on the party's future development," former South Moravia regional governor Michal Hasek, Sobotka's long-term opponent, said.

He added that the party needed a restart and that he himself left professional politics.

Hasek recently became an assistant to CSSD MP Jiri Behounek who would like to run for party chairman. The CSSD is to elect its new national leadership in February.

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