Social Democrat MPs throw support behind potential presidential candidate Jan Sokol

Social Democrat MPs present in the Lower House on Wednesday voted unanimously to support the presidential candidacy of university professor Jan Sokol in an upcoming third round of presidential elections. The situation brings the Czech Republic closer to finally electing a successor to Vaclav Havel, after two failed attempts in January. Vaclav Havel stepped down at the beginning of February after 13 years in office. Early on Mr Sokol, who is 66, stipulated he would run only if he gained the full support of all three parties in the governing coalition, the only possibility of putting up a strong challenge to the right-of-centre Civic Democrat candidate Vaclav Klaus. So far both the Freedom Union and the Christian Democrats have reacted positively to Wednesday's developments, so it seems likely Mr Sokol will run against Mr Klaus on February 28th.

Author: Jan Velinger