Hašek does u-turn and admits meeting with Zeman ahead of attempt to oust Social Democrats’ chair Sobotka

The leader of a revolt against the chairman of the Social Democrats has admitted to a secret meeting with President Miloš Zeman after previously denying it took place. On Tuesday the party’s number two Michal Hašek had repeated the assertion that the meeting never happened, only to do a u-turn on Wednesday. Three other senior Social Democrats have also finally admitted that the talks took place on Saturday night, hours after the outcome of a general election became clear.

At the meeting, the president, a former leader of the Social Democrats, is said to have called for the ousting of Bohuslav Sobotka as chairman in the wake of disappointing election results; the Social Democrats came first but took fewer votes than expected. Mr. Hašek on Sunday instigated a revolt against Mr. Sobotka. However, he has refused to quit and seems to be gathering momentum in the power struggle.

Author: Ian Willoughby