Sobotka says ‘Zemanovci’ will fold after leader loses presidential bid

Social Democratic Party leader Bohuslav Sobotka has told Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes his party was not in crisis despite the departure of several politicians – most recently Senator Vladimir Drmyl – who crossed over to the Party of Civic Rights (the so-called Zemanovci) headed by former prime minister Miloš Zeman. The party recently jumped in opinion polls, meeting the necessary five percent threshold to make it into the lower house of Parliament if elections were held today. Mr Sobotka suggested the boost was a result of Mr Zeman’s candidacy for president adding that the party would fold or fall part “when Mr Zeman lost his bid”. He also expressed the conviction that Czechs would not elect a “face of the ‘90s”; opinion polls, however, have put Mr Zeman in second place behind early leader Jan Fischer, also a former prime minister.

Author: Jan Velinger