Communist Party to elect new leadership

The Communist Party is due to elect a new leadership at its congress in Nymburk following dismal results in parliamentary elections last October. In the election, the party clinched just 7.76 percent of the vote for 15 seats in the lower house.

Despite the result, the party is now expected to play a key role in the formation of the new government, either a coalition between ANO and the Social Democrats or ANO alone, who lack enough seats for a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

With tacit support from the Communists, a minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats would be able to rely on 108 MPs in the 200-member house. Support, however, is only likely with concessions from the emerging government.

At the convention, chairman Vojtěch Filip is facing challengers for the post of party leader, including a bid by Euro MP Kateřina Konečná and Mr Filip's close rival and head of the party's "orthodox" wing Josef Skála. Filip has been chairman of the party for 12 years.

Author: Jan Velinger