Paroubek, Gross, deny going head-to-head over elections leader post

20-05-2005

Both Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Stanislav Gross, have denied they might face each other in an eventual showdown for their party's post of electoral leader. Speaking together with Mr Gross on Friday the prime minister said no conflict existed between himself and Mr Gross, who he considers a personal friend. While he did express an interest in being named his party's election leader, Mr Paroubek stressed the post could fall to a number of highly placed Social Democrats, including Culture Minister Pavel Dostal or Education Minister Petra Buzkova. Both he and Mr Gross said their party would conduct extensive research & analysis to decide on the best person for the job.

The Social Democrats, along with the Czech Republic's other political parties, have roughly twelve months in which to prepare for national elections next year.