Communists nominate Jana Bobošíková as their candidate for president

13-02-2008

The Communist Party has nominated its own candidate for the presidential ballot. Just hours before the nomination deadline for the second presidential election, the party leadership said that MEP Jana Bobošíková has what it takes to be the next Czech president. But what are the new presidential candidate’s prospects and the overall impact of her nomination in the tight presidential race?

Jan Švejnar (left), photo: CTKJan Švejnar (left), photo: CTK It seems the communists have had enough of being taken for granted in the run for Czech presidency. In a surprising move on Tuesday, they nominated MEP Jana Bobošíková as their candidate for upcoming second presidential vote. Given the current situation in the Czech Parliament, split between the supporters of the incumbent Václav Klaus and the challenger Jan Švejnar, Ms Bobošíková sees her chances of becoming the first female Czech president as fairly unrealistic.

“I believe that my chances are not too high at the moment; but it is Wednesday afternoon now and I don’t know what might happen before Friday’s vote. Every presidential candidate under the Czech constitutional system is at the mercy of the electors so I am in a situation where others decide about me.”

Jana Bobošíková, photo: CTKJana Bobošíková, photo: CTK The Communist Party is realistic about MEP Jana Bobošíková’s presidential prospects, too. With the two sides in the presidential election standing firm behind their respective candidates – the ruling Civic Democrats backing Mr Klaus and the Greens and the Social Democrats supporting Mr Švejnar – the chances of any other candidate, especially one nominated by the Communists, are indeed very low. Under the circumstances, the nomination might be a deliberate move to put the supporters of Jan Švejnar under pressure to negotiate conditions for communist support. Josef Skála is an advisor to the communist party’s Central Committee.

Jana Bobošíková, photo: CTKJana Bobošíková, photo: CTK “We said repeatedly that we would be pleased to be a part of an alliance for a change at Prague Castle, and we never said that Mr Švejnar was absolutely unacceptable. We said he was not an ideal candidate, and that the procedure that led to his nomination was very peculiar. They put the candidate on the table in front of us and told us, ‘take it or leave it’.”

Ms Bobošíková’s nomination by the communists was also criticized by the opposition Social Democrats. With the communist votes going to Ms Bobošíková in Friday’s first round of voting, Václav Klaus might be the only candidate to advance into the second round which would put him very close to re-election. Jan Hamáček is a Social Democrat MP.

“It is surprising in a way because the communist party criticized Mr Švejnar for his political views, and then they decided to nominate Ms Bobošíková who is even further away from the communist view of the world. I believe this is an attempt to stir things up but I think that as a consequence, the communists will open the door for the re-election of Mr Klaus.”

13-02-2008