Prague, June 15 (CTK) – The Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) approved their entry into a coalition government with the ANO movement in their intra-party referendum, in which 58.5 percent voted for this coalition and 40.2 opposed it, CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek announced today.
A total of 11,404 Social Democrats or almost two-thirds of the party members voted in the referendum, Hamacek said at the end of the CSSD leadership’s meeting.
Under the coalition agreement with ANO, the Social Democrats are to fill five ministerial posts. Their nominees would head the interior, foreign affairs, labour and social affairs, agriculture and culture ministries.
PM and ANO chairman Andrej Babis is to present the names of all proposed ministers to President Milos Zeman on Sunday.
Hamacek appreciated that 64.7 percent of the CSSD members had taken part in the referendum. The participation thus approached turnout in elections, he added.
“I consider this a high figure, we have stood the test in this respect,” Hamacek said.
The referendum can be beneficial not only for the Czech Republic, but also for the CSSD, he said.
The Social Democrat branches in the Plzen, Karlovy Vary, Usti, Hradec Kralove and South Moravia regions voted against the entry into a government with ANO. The lowest support for the CSSD-ANO coalition was in the Usti Region where 61.3 percent opposed it.
On the contrary, the coalition government enjoyed the highest support in Vysocina (76.5 percent) and the Central Bohemia Region (76.3).
Hamacek told reporters that his leadership had been given the task to agree on an alternative and submitted it to the members. “The members accepted this,” he said.
Discussions and disputes in the party must end by the decision in the referendum, he added.
“Now, it is clear to us and we must concentrate on our contribution to the formation of a stable government and push through in it what we have succeeded in negotiating,” he said.
He indicated that the members who were in minority in the vote should not leave the party.
CSSD deputy chairman Roman Onderka told reporters that he had taken a pessimistic stance on the coalition government’s formation and his region (south Moravia) had not supported it either.
“However, I am a true democrat and will respect the majority opinion and deputies will do the same,” he said.
Jaroslav Foldyna, from the Usti Region, expressed a similar view.
Results of CSSD referendum on entry into govt with ANO:
Remaining votes are either invalid or not cast.