>Czech Civic Democrats: Summer dreams, but not split down the seams…


Ladislav Mrklas of the Czech centre-right CEVRO thinktank offers an interesting, and to my mind very realistic, appraisal of the political prospects of the Civic Democratic party: factional tension has damped down prior to the euro-elections; the party may go off the idea of backing early parliamentary elections if it gets a whipping in June; if they do take place ex-PM and ODS leader Topolánek will have to step down if the party is badly beated resulting in ‘chaos’ and which his opponents (back by President Klaus) will try to fill; an extra joker in the pack is that there will beo big turnover in ODS parliamentary group is likely if and when there are national elections, as regional ODS bosses have candidate selection firmly under their control. Right-wing eurosceptic challengers are not serious force unless and until Václav Klaus endorses one of them, which might push them over the 5% barrier. Right-wing euroscepticism in ODS is not the party splitting issue is once was for the British Tories reckons Mrklas, as it is concentrated at elite level and at the grassroots with intermediate layers more inclined to pragmatism.

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