President to address delegates at Communist Party convention

The head-of-state Miloš Zeman will speak at the Communist Party congress, a step never taken by his predecessors Václav Havel or Václav Klaus. The communists are meeting at the municipal house in Nymburk to elect a new leadership, including party chairperson.

Despite a poor finish in last year's election, the Communists are in position to influence the formation of a new government for the first time since the Velvet Revolution which swept them from power in 1989. The party's tacit support is likely to be needed by acting PM Andrej Babiš if his ANO party and the Social Democrats agree on a new government. The latter agreed to continue negotiations on Friday following an offer by ANO which included heading five ministries including the Ministry of the Interior.

President Zeman has pushed for Mr Babiš to reach a deal with the Social Democrats, either with outside support from the Communists or from both the Communists and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy. He does not consider early elections an option.

Author: Jan Velinger