Communist Party to be Strongest Party in the Czech Republic

Prague, Jan 28 (CTK) – The Communists (junior opposition KSCM) may become the strongest political party in the Czech Republic thanks to the fresh victory of former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman in the direct presidential election, Jiri Pehe writes in the left-wing daily Pravo yesterday.

The KSCM has influenced the presidential election for the third time, but now it even will markedly profit from its result, Pehe writes, recalling the previous two elections in which outgoing President Vaclav Klaus was elected by parliament.

The Communists clearly supported Zeman against Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) in the presidential runoff.

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Any weakening of the CSSD means that the KSCM will improve its position, he adds.

Pehe notes that the KSCM became more popular than the CSSD under the rule of Zeman’s government in 2000. This situation reoccurred twice, in 2003 and 2005 when the Social Democrats were torn by internal disputes.

The crisis that will be almost certainly caused by Zeman’s presidency can make the Communists not only the strongest Czech left-wing party, but also the strongest party in the country because the right-wing parties are facing a decline, Pehe writes.

The Communists used good tactics when they did not nominate their own candidate in the presidential election because they would have to deal with their candidate’s failure after the first round. Moreover, the KSCM candidate would have to challenge Zeman in some way in the first round, which would make support for Zeman more difficult in the second round, Pehe writes.

Thanks to this strategy, the KSCM could back the only “left-wing” candidate without any reservations in the election runoff, Pehe says.

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It was even better news for the Communists that Zeman decided to attack Schwarzenberg using issues related to the post-war Benes Decrees, nationalist sentiment and prejudices. Zeman in fact acted in the same way as a Communist candidate would have done, Pehe says.

For symbolical reasons, the KSCM considers it crucial that Zeman has won the presidency thanks to traditionally “communist” issues, he adds.

As a result, the Communists may be the only big stable party in the Czech Republic soon, Pehe writes.

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MORE…

http://praguemonitor.com/2013/01/29/pr%C3%A1vo-zemans-election-migth-strengthen-communist-party

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