Czech Republic

Negotiations to form new government in turmoil as ČSSD implodes


Talks to establish a new government following the general election last Friday and Saturday have ended in turmoil as the team leading the largest party’s negotiations has split in two.

The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) took 20.45% of the vote and 50 of the 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. But since the election the leader of the Social Democrats, Bohuslav Sobotka, has found himself in an attempted ousting after a poor result which left the party with six fewer Deputies than before.

Mr Sobotka subsequently refused to step down and accused his Deputy, Michal Hasek, of attempting a party “coup” at the behest of President Milos Zeman. The Social Democrats leadership council voted 20 – 13 on Sunday to ask Mr Sobotka to resign but he refused as the vote was non-binding.

Mr Sobotka had been working towards establishing a coalition with the centre-right Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO) and the centrist Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU–ČSL). The move would give a coalition government 111 of the 200 seats in the lower house.

Meanwhile it seems that no further decisions can take place until 10th November when the ČSSD central executive committee will meet. This committee or a Congress are the only bodies with the authority to remove the Chairman of the party, currently Mr Sobotka.

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