Social Democrat branches weighing up candidates for chairman

District and regional branches of the Social Democrats have begun holding congresses to decide on their candidate for chairman of the party, Czech Television reported. The Social Democrats, who headed the last government but came sixth in elections in October, will choose a new leader at a congress in February.

A representative of the Pardubice party organisation said it had discussed names such as Jiří Zimola and Jan Hamáček. Mr. Zimola is part of a group critical of the party leadership, who said on Friday they would not field a candidate.

Current deputy chairman Hamáček did not rule out running but said he would depend on the view of his local organisation in Mladá Boleslav, which is meeting on Monday.