Bem elected Civic Democrats' first deputy by wide margin

Prague Mayor Pavel Bem has been elected first deputy chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, earning the vast majority of delegate votes. Mr Bem takes over from Petr Necas, who came in second. Finance Minister Vlastimil Tlusty was third.

Mr Bem's position prior to the vote was clearly strengthened by winning results in recent municipal elections, but even so he was not expected to win as early as the first round. The mayor has often been described as an eventual successor to Mirek Topolanek, as chairman or prime minister.

Other deputy chairpersons elected on Sunday were outgoing Interior Minister Ivan Langer, Central Bohemian governor Petr Bendl, and outgoing Minister for Regional Affairs Petr Gandalovic. Petr Necas was the last to take the final deputy chairperson's post, elected in the fourth round.

Author: Jan Velinger