Row over left-wing party merger

The Czech National Socialist Party 2005 on Saturday officially approved a planned merger with the National Socialist Party – Left Wing of the 21st Century -a new political entity set up by former Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek. The party’s conference started with a conflict between its former leader Karel Janko and its temporary leadership headed by Stanislav Palsa. Mr. Janko was recently ousted from the party’s helm over his point blank refusal for the party to merge with Mr. Paroubek’s new political grouping. Mr. Janko attempted to address the conference in a last-ditch-attempt to dissuade the party leadership from its decision. He was not allowed to finish and after getting into a scuffle with another party member was led away by the police.

Jiří Paroubek, who headed the Social Democrats between 2006 and 2010 and resigned following a poor showing in the last general elections, was at odds with his successor and needed a new platform for his political ambitions.