The Social Democrat leader of the South Moravian region Michal Hašek has strengthened his bid to become the leader of the party after party meetings in four regions on Saturday. Mr. Hašek won support from two of the regions, Zlín and Ústí with Moravia and Silesia refusing to make and recommendation and Plzeň backing both himself and his main rival Bohuslav Sobotka. Delegates from the regions will vote for a new leader at a meeting in Brno in March. Former party leader and prime minister Jiří Paroubek stepped down after elections to the lower house of parliament at the end of May when results fell well short of expectations and the party was not able to take the lead in forming a coalition.
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