Some commentators have been suggesting lately that Social Democrat Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has mishandled the presidential elections. In an attempt to stamp his authority on the party and prevent his larger-than-life predecessor Milos Zeman becoming president, Mr Spidla came up with a public poll to choose the Social Democrats' candidate. It did not go as he had wished. With the prime minister's choice to succeed Vaclav Havel - ombudsman Otakar Motejl - coming third, Vladimir Spidla is now having to back second place Jaroslav Bures, who
A public opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency this month suggests that the senior government coalition party, the Social Democratic Party has become the most popular party in the country. Supported by 27.2 percent of Czechs, its support has increased by one percent since than last month. On the other hand, the opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats who had been enjoying rising support for several months saw a three-percent fall in voter support with 25.6 percent. The Communist Party remained third but recorded a slight increase of 1.5 percent to 14.6 percent.
With President Vaclav Havel's final term in office now drawing quickly to a close, political parties in the Czech Republic have begun preparing themselves for the first round of new presidential elections in January, and one thing has already become very clear: choosing the country's next leader will not be an easy task.
With a presidential election fast approaching, the governing Social Democratic party has been holding a public vote on which candidate the party should propose for the post of the Czech Republic's future president. What may surprise some is the fact that former Prime Minister and party leader Milos Zeman is currently ahead in the vote. Alena Skodova reports:
The end of President Havel's term is swiftly approaching and the question who will succeed him continues to make headlines. So far, there are eight candidates, among them the country's ombudsman Otakar Motejl, Senate chairman Petr Pithart and opposition Civic Democrat leader Vaclav Klaus, described by his supporters as the father of economic transformation. But realistically Mr Klaus has little chance of being elected under the current parliamentary system, and the party is now calling openly for the president to be elected directly - a U-turn
The ruling Social Democrats are planning to present the electorate with a list of four names from which to choose the party's candidate for president, Health Minister Marie Souckova said on Friday. They are former prime minister Milos Zeman, ombudsman Otakar Motejl, former justice minister Jaroslav Bures and Charles University professor Martin Potucek. It is believed that the Social Democrats decided to allow the public to pick their presidential candidate because elements within the party feared that the outspoken Mr Zeman might win an internal party vote. The public vote will take place on October 22 and 25. The term of the current president, Vaclav Havel, ends in January, and his successor will be chosen by both houses of parliament.
There has been a great deal of speculation as to who will take the cabinet posts in the government currently being formed by the Social Democrats' Vladimir Spidla. However, one thing is certain - the youngest ever minister to serve in a Czech government, Karel Brezina, will not be remaining in power. Brezina, at the age of 29, is - in political terms at least - yesterday's man. As Ian Willoughby reports now, Karel Brezina's fate sealed when his local branch of the Social Democrats refused to put the controversial minister on their electoral
Will Czech politics be better or worse off without him? Did his famous candid statements harm Czech foreign policy or lower the general standard of the country's political culture? The man in the spotlight is the outgoing prime minister, Milos Zeman. You can find out more about one of the most remarkable figures on the Czech political scene in this edition of Profile with Pavla Horakova.