Václav Klaus no longer honorary chairman of the Civic Democrats

In brief statement to the party conference on Saturday President Václav Klaus announced that he was giving up his post as honorary chairman, citing growing ideological differences between him and the party leadership. Mr. Klaus, who founded the Civic Democrats in 1991, said that in recent years it had changed course, becoming more of a centrist party which he found difficult to accept and identify with. He thanked party members for 18 years of cooperation and said that it was now up to them to choose a path that would benefit not only the party but the Czech Republic.