Paroubek under fire from Skromach, Zeman over election results
The leader of the Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, has come under fire from within his own party, after an unimpressive showing in the Senate and local elections. There were also rumblings of disapproval from the Social Democrats' influential former chairman Milos Zeman, which in the past has signalled the writing on the wall for previous Social Democrat leaders.
Now, things are rather different. The party is once again languishing in the opinion polls. The recent Senate and local elections were not a disaster but nothing to celebrate either. Jiri Paroubek's handling of those elections has now been criticised by deputy leader Zdenek Skromach.
There was also criticism from former leader Milos Zeman, now in retirement in his cottage in the country. In interviews with several national newspapers on Tuesday, he said there was no room in politics for "hysteria", and called for early elections to resolve the ongoing stalemate. That's something Mr Paroubek bitterly opposes, because if the polls are to be believed they would be a disaster for both the Social Democrats and by extension, him personally.
Jiri Paroubek is still fully in control of his party, and a few isolated rebellions do not signify a full-scale revolt. But he will need to reassert his authority fast if he is to avoid following in the footsteps of Vladimir Spidla and Stanislav Gross.