Thirty percent of vote always success for Social Democrats, says deputy PM

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, photo: CTK

Though the governing Social Democratic Party do appear to have come off second best in this year's elections, the party did win a greater percentage of the votes than most opinion polls suggested. So the deputy prime minister for the economy, Jiri Havel, isn't taking the result as that much of a defeat for his party.

"I think that every result for the Social Democrats above 30 percent is a dream result. In comparison with our last election result, which was to the European Parliament, when we had about nine percent - now we have 21 percent more. So we have done great work.

"So from this point of view I am satisfied. On the other hand there is a certain...bitterness in this evaluation and of course I'd be more happy if we won (laughs)."

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, photo: CTK
It looks like you're out of government, and it looks like the next government will be formed by the Civic Democrats. Do you think Czech voters are simply tired of the Social Democrats after eight years, albeit with four different prime ministers?

"Yeah, of course, because to win a parliamentary election for a third time is a miracle. So if we win for the third time it means for me that miracles really happen. But this means that I have to start to visit churches, and practically to change my personal conviction (laughs)."