Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka says no reason to step down after regional election losses


Social democrat leader and prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said he had no fears his party will push for him to step down following disappointing results in regional and first round elections to the upper house, the Senate. Sobotka declared Sunday that personal disputes would only profit the ANO party, the winner of most votes and seats in the voting to fill 13 regional assemblies. Top Social Democrat party leaders are due to meet Sunday night to discuss the results. ANO came top in nine regions with the Social Democrats, formerly the dominant regional party, only winning in two. The party is also set to lose seats in the Senate when the second round of voting is held next Friday and Saturday. Sobotka said voters were looking for a change after Social Democrat dominance of the regions over the last eight years. The personal reputation of candidates was also a factor and the Social Democrats needed to select better qualified candidates for the elections to the lower house of parliament due in 12 months at the latest, Sobotka said.