Civic Democrats dominate centre right, as smaller parties fight for a place in the sun
The recent elections to the European Parliament not only brought down the government, but also brought a shift on the Czech political scene. We take a closer look at the picture right of centre, where a dozen or so small parties are fighting for support, in the shadow of the dominant Civic Democrats:
According to public surveys around 20 % of Czech voters would be prepared to give their vote to a right wing, liberal, pro-European force. At present most of them remain dissatisfied with what the centre right political scene has to offer.
This creates considerable potential for the European Democrats and others like them, if they manage to avoid the pitfalls which brought down the Freedom Union and the Civic Democratic Alliance. Political analyst Jiri Pehe says that one of the major hurdles on the way of a possible merger is that smaller parties usually find it extremely difficult to reach consensus. And at present, time is playing against them. If the Civic Democrats achieve their goal of early elections in 2005, the smaller right wing parties, led by the European Democrats will have very little time and opportunity to convince the public that they present a viable alternative for the future.