Sobotka Calls on CSSD to Halt ‘Bigoted Rhetoric’

Prague/Budapest, Nov 27 (CTK) – Social Democrats (CSSD) will lose the voters who still support them after the October general election if they continue to send out signals of intolerance, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said today, reacting to the CSSD South Moravian branch’s call on him to resign as a deputy.


The South Moravian branch said last weekend that Sobotka should leave the Chamber of Deputies as a result of the CSSD’s poor election result.


The CSSD, which Sobotka headed for six years until mid-2017, scored slightly over seven percent in the October election, compared to 20.5 percent it gained in 2013.


Sobotka told CTK on Saturday he was not going to give up his MP mandate.


Speaking to media following the 16+1 Budapest summit of China and 16 European countries today, he said the CSSD should “very quickly pull itself together, as sending out such negative intolerant signals could cause it to lose even those voters that who remained to it after this election.”


Sobotka said CSSD should return to a positive programme, promote voters’ interests and stop fighting inside the party.


The current cabinet led by Sobotka will resign on Wednesday following last week’s constituent session of the Chamber of Deputies.


Following the cabinet’s resignation, Sobotka expects it to operate in resignation. It may be for relatively short period, he said.


Czech President Milos Zeman will then nominate the new prime minister and cabinet, Sobotka said.


Zeman previously said he would nominate the election-winining ANO’s leader Andrej Babis the prime minister on December 6 and his minority cabinet on December 15.


“We will complete our mandate and I will then focus on the performance of my mandate in the Chamber. The CSSD is in opposition, so it will be different as opposed to the four years when I represented the cabinet. I will be getting used to the role of an opposition MP,” Sobotka said.