Controversy over Šlouf nomination

The Citizens’ Rights Party–Zemanites’ is torn over the nomination of controversial political “lobbyist” Miroslav Šlouf to head the party’s Prague ballot in October’s general elections. The announcement that Mr. Šlouf had been approved as the party’s Prague leader was followed by denials and conflicting reports from party insiders throughout the day while the party leadership remained tight-lipped and called off a planned press briefing on Thursday night. While insiders suggested the controversial lobbyist’s nomination was a PR stunt to raise the party’s profile ahead of the elections, Mr. Šlouf himself said he had accepted the nomination in good faith and was ready to serve the party.

One-time chief political advisor to President Miloš Zeman, Miroslav Šlouf is a highly controversial figure – a former communist believed to have enormous influence and connections to the underworld who has been linked to many political scandals and shady deals. Although he is credited with Mr. Zeman’s election victory, the president has publicly distanced himself from his former advisor.