Gross pulls out of party leader race: what future for CSSD under Spidla?

Vladimir Spidla/Stanislav Gross

Members of the ruling Social Democrats gathered in Prague this weekend for some rather difficult talks on the party's future. Party leader Milos Zeman announced some time ago that he would not be putting his name forward for re-election in April, although he says he will stay on as Prime Minister until 2002. Until recently, the popular Interior Minister Stanislav Gross--who heads the party's right-wing faction--appeared to be Mr Zeman's favourite, his main rival being Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla, who's seen as belonging more to the left. But on Saturday Mr Gross made the surprising announcement that he would not be running for the post, leaving the way open for Mr Spidla. Rob Cameron spoke to Tomas Pecina, who writes for the Internet journal Central Europe Review: