Leader of Czech election winner CSSD says to start talks on forming new government

By bne IntelliNews October 29, 2013

Bohuslav Sobotka, the chairman of Czech election winner centre-left Social Democrats (CSSD), said he will start talks with centrists parties on forming a new government in a move that will further intensify the leadership fight within his own party.

CSSD’s leadership body called on Sobotka to resign and excluded him from its negotiating team blaming him for the party’s weak election result. CSSD won most of the votes in the Oct 25-26 general elections but it gained only 20.5% of the votes scoring its worst result since 1992.

CSSD wants to launch talks on forming a three-party government with centrist anti-corruption movement ANO that ranked second in the elections winning 18.7% of the votes and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) that won 6.78%.

Sobotka said he talked on the phone with ANO’s leader, billionaire Andrej Babis, on launching the talks and hopes on agreeing the same with Pavel Belobradek, the chairman of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), CTK news agency reported.

The internal rift within CSSD is threatening to prolong post-election deal-making extending the political turmoil that started in June with the collapse of a centre-right government amid a bribery and spying scandal. The graft scandals and the austerity drive of the former government have disgruntled voters who punished the mainstream parties opting for protest parties vowing to eliminate corruption and electing a record seven parties into a fragmented parliament.

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