Parties Look to Reinvent Themselves in 2018 After Disappointing Election Season

Prague, Dec 25 (CTK) – Five Czech parties will hold their national conferences that may decide on their leaders and further policy in the first six months of 2018.


No changes are expected from those to be held by the Pirates and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), since they were relative successful in the October 2017 general election.


On the other hand, the Social Democrats (CSSD), Communists (KSCM) and the Greens will have to react to their failure in the election to the lower house.


Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) has already said he believes that the conference of the Social Democrats in particular could change their position on their presence in the government if he has the second try to form it.


So far, the Social Democrats have refused to take part in the Babis government, arguing that since he may be prosecuted over an EU subsidy fraud, he should not be the prime minister.


When it comes to Babis’s first try on January 10, the minority government is the not expected to gain confidence in the Chamber of Deputies because all parties except the KSCM have refused to back it.


The Pirates will be the first to meet in 2018. Their national forum is scheduled to be held in Brno in the first January weekend.


According to the party rules, the term of the whole board ends by three months after the election to the Chamber of Deputies at the latest and the five-member national board must step down.


However, party leader Ivan Bartos has announced he will seek re-election.


Since he managed to bring the party for the first time to the Chamber of Deputies, where it became the third strongest party with 22 seats, he is expected to succeed.


One week after the Pirates and three days after the confidence vote, the conference of the ODS will take place in Ostrava, north Moravia.


The party board will be elected and party leader Petr Fiala will seek re-election.


He, too, is expected to win because under his leadership, the party has recovered from its rout in 2013, becoming the second strongest party group with 25 mandates in the 200-member lower house.


Later in January, there will be a special conference of the Greens in CeskaTrebova, east Bohemia. It is represented in the Senate, but it suffered a crushing defeat, only gaining 1.46 percent of the vote due to which it is not eligible for the state contribution.


In the aftermath of the election, party leader Matej Stropnicky resigned from the post.


In mid-February, the Social Democrats will meet in Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia. The previously strongest party was the biggest loser of the election, in which it only received some 7 percent of the vote, which gave it 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.


The Social Democrats are being led by acting chairman Milan Chovanec. No one has announced official candidacy for the post.


The Communists were also routed as they gained the least votes since the 1989 fall of the Communist regime.


Their national conference is scheduled for April. After the election, party leader said Vojtech Filip he would not seek re-election, but he still may change his mind. The post will be contested by KSCM deputy chairman Josef Skala.


President Milos Zeman has said he will entrust Babis with forming the government at the second try if he fails in the first.