Cyril Svoboda elected leader of the Four Party Coalition

Cyril Svoboda

In a surprise development on Sunday, Christian Democrat Deputy Chairman Cyril Svoboda was elected leader of the opposition Four Party Coalition. After a marathon two-day meeting of the leaders of the individual parties of the coalition, Mr Svoboda's selection came as a surprise, as he was not even in the running for the post. Lucie Krupickova has this report:

Cyril Svoboda
Cyril Svoboda was one of the Christian Democrats' original candidates for leader of the Four Party Coalition, a grouping of four small centre-right opposition parties, but dropped out of the running after the party opted for a relatively unknown politician, Jaroslav Kopriva. Two of the three other coalition parties, the Freedom Union and the Civic Democratic Aliance, had also put forward candidates for the post. After two days of talks at the weekend, the leaders of the parties in the coalition eventually opted for Mr Svoboda instead of the official candidates for the post. Political commentator Jiri Pehe sees Mr Svoboda as a compromise choice for the Four Party Coalition: Mr Svoboda, a former Interior Minister in the mid-1990s, is due to resign his post as Deputy Chairman of the Christian Democrats, and has to put together a shadow cabinet by the end of March. The Four Party Coalition has been riding high in opinion polls lately, and scored significant gains in Senate and regional elections late last year. With these successes behind them, Mr Svoboda hopes to lead the Four Party Coalition to victory in parliamentary elections in 2002. But is Mr Svoboda the right man for the job? Can the Four Party Coalition win the next election and form the next government? Commentator Jan Culik believes they could, but is sceptical about their policies: Commentator Jiri Pehe, however, believes that a coalition government, containing several parties, may be a good thing for the Czech political scene:

Author: Lucie Krupičková
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