Social Democrats hold party conference

The opposition Social Democrats held a one-day party conference in Prague on Saturday to discuss the party’s strategy in elections to the European Parliament, address economic problems relating to the financial crisis and approve a new way of electing the party leadership in March. In the wake of the party’s resounding success in Senate and regional elections last October no one has stepped forward to challenge Jiří Paroubek for the post of party leader. Since there is only one candidate for the top post the party has voted to abandon a direct vote in favour of a vote by party delegates which will save the party three to four million crowns. Mr. Paroubek told the conference his main ambition at present was to lead the party to a victory in the June elections to the European Parliament.