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cze_0121
(01/21/08) -

Opposition CSSD Keeps Lead in Czech Republic

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The main opposition party in the Czech Republic remains in first place as the new year begins, according to a poll by STEM. 31 per cent of respondents would back the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) in the next legislative election, down 2.3 points since December.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The main opposition party in the Czech Republic remains in first place as the new year begins, according to a poll by STEM. 31 per cent of respondents would back the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) in the next legislative election, down 2.3 points since December.

The governing Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is second with 24.2 per cent, followed by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) with 13.1 per cent, the Green Party (SZ) with 8.2 per cent, and the Christian and Democratic Union – Czech People’s Party (KDU-CSL) with six per cent.

In June 2006, Czech voters renewed the Chamber of Representatives. Final results gave the ODS 35.58 per cent of all cast ballots, followed by the CSSD with 32.32 per cent. Czech parties require at least five per cent of the vote to earn seats under the country’s proportional representation system. The final tallies gave the ODS, the KDU-CSL and the SZ 100 seats in the lower house, with the remaining 100 seats going to the CSSD and the KSCM.

The tie among rival factions led to a long political stalemate. In January 2007, Czech president Vaclav Klaus re-appointed ODS leader Mirek Topolanek as prime minister. Topolanek’s government eventually won a confidence motion in the Chamber of Representatives after a 100-97 vote.

In the Czech Republic, the president is elected by Parliament to a five-year term. The Czech president can return bills to lawmakers and grant pardons to convicted criminals, and also serves as the commander in chief of the armed forces. According to existing regulations, Czech heads of state can serve for a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms. Czech lawmakers will vote to elect a new president on Feb. 8.

On Jan. 15, Topolanek urged all lawmakers to re-elect current head of state Vaclav Klaus, a right-leaning politician, saying that a potential defeat would destabilize the country’s political situation. Topolanek’s ODS released a statement, which read: "The national committee, while respecting the free will of the electors, recommends its deputies and senators to support Vaclav Klaus."

Polling Data

What party list would you vote for in the next parliamentary election?

 

Jan. 2008

Dec. 2007

Nov. 2007

Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD)

31.0%

33.3%

27.5%

Civic Democratic Party (ODS)

24.3%

24.5%

26.9%

Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM)

13.1%

11.8%

12.1%

Green Party (SZ)

8.2%

8.7%

9.4%

Christian and Democratic Union –
Czech People’s Party (KDU-CSL)

6.0%

6.2%

5.7%

Source: STEM
Methodology: Interviews with 1,362 Czech voters, conducted from Jan. 2 to Jan. 8, 2008. Margin of error is 2.5 per cent.