Candidate finds election campaigning tiring but enjoyable

Eva Novakova

There are now only two days to go until the general elections, and the campaigning which has been going on throughout the Czech Republic for many months is now reaching a climax. Hands have been shaken, leaflets have been given out and the hundreds and hundreds of candidates taking part will now be looking forward to the end of a long campaign. Ian Willoughby spoke to one candidate, Eva Novakova, who is standing for the Social Democrats in the Prague region. Before asking Mrs Novakova how she saw her party's chances of forming the next government, he asked her if she actually enjoyed getting out and campaigning.

"Well, now I am tired to be honest but I always enjoy it because it's the time when we meet friends and we do things, and when we talk to people. So I enjoy it to be honest, but it's the very end of it and I feel a little bit tired."

How do most people react on the streets? Are they curious, interested, or are they rude?

"Some of them are rude but we were used to more rude people four years ago, or eight years ago. Now it's much easier really, and some people are really very nice to us. I remember one woman, she bought me a rose and she gave it to me. People are much nicer nowadays to us, so it's easier."

How do you rate the Social Democrats' chances of forming the next government?

"I think we will win the elections and I think that we will form the government. But I think that we will have to cope with other parties. And now it seems to be that our chairman, Mr Spidla, is not willing to go to the coalition with the ODS (Civic Democrats)."

For you what party would be the most acceptable coalition partner?

"Well, I think that the Christian Democrats, they are really close to our programme with the care of the people. We don't want to pay any taxes in high schools, because we are not used to it. We really want to have something which we call the social state, so it's a state for people."