Prague If the biggest loser of the regional and senate elections were to be sought, the Communists would certainly be among the adepts. Out of 86 seats, the 13th KSČM leader Vojtěch Filip will make his position available on Friday – as well as other leading representatives of the party.
It is a tragedy, we have reached the bottom, Alena Nohavová, chairwoman of the South Bohemian Regional Committee of the KSČM, evaluates the result of the Communists in this year’s regional and senate elections. And this is not a unique opinion among her companions.
In southern Bohemia, the Communists no longer have a seat in the regional council, they used to have seven. Throughout the republic, the party experienced a historic failure. She defended 86 seats in the regions, won only 13. After the election weekend, she has representatives in only four regions. None of its candidates advanced to the second round of the Senate elections.
The chairman of the KSČM, Vojtěch Filip, has already announced that he and the entire management will make their functions available. Due to this, the executive committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia will meet on Friday, where the party leadership, together with the chairmen of the regional committees, will discuss the debacle in the last elections. The Council will also decide on the future of the party leader and his vice-chairmen.
There are two options – the executive committee will set up a provisional lead until the November congress, or wait for this change until this top communist forum. It is to take place on November 28 in Brno. The restoration of the party leadership was planned for April, but the communists had to postpone the congress due to the coronavirus epidemic.
“It’s logical. When it comes to such a serious downturn, the main responsibility lies with those in charge. However, it should be a well-thought-out and controlled process, “said Communist MP Jiří Dolejš about the change of leadership for Lidovky.cz. According to him, the call for change has been appearing among the communists for a long time. “Some do not want to wait until the November congress,” Dolejš added.
Member of Parliament Miloslava Vostrá also considers it appropriate that she has made the position available to the management.
There are many people interested in the game
Who could replace Filip at the head of the Communist Party? “There are more proposals for the chairman. He must be a person with political experience, at least at the regional level, but preferably at the parliamentary or MEP level, “Dolejš explained. However, none of the addressed members of the KSČM wanted to reveal the specific names of their favorites.
“I will not comment on personnel matters in the newspapers,” Kateřina Konečná, the party’s vice-chairwoman and MEP, told Lidovky.cz. But it is no secret that she announced before the canceled April congress that she wanted to run for Filip’s post. It is therefore highly likely that he will stand up to the current chairman, who has been leading the party for fifteen years, in November as well. She had talked about the fact that she had a recipe for raising the party several times.
Filip himself, although he made the position available, did not rule out that he would apply for the favor of party colleagues again. Josef Skála, a former vice-chairman who had tried to get to the highest party post twice before, could also stand up to him. Filip defeated him every time, most recently in April 2018. The ambition to lead the Communists was already shown by Deputy Chairman and Member of Parliament Stanislav Grospič and another member of the Chamber of Deputies Leo Luzar.
Along with the new leaders, the Communists are also looking for reasons why they have become one of the biggest outsiders of this year’s elections. “Unfortunately, we have not managed to present our own work by our regional representatives several times,” said the chairwoman of the parliamentary budget committee, Vostrá. According to her, failure to communicate with voters is the main problem. Other addressed representatives of the KSČM agree on this. “We need to improve the media image of the party as such. That must be the leadership, because we will not get so much into the media here in the regions, “stated the head of the South Bohemian communists, Nohavová.
The party is missing young voters and it wants to change that. “We have to be able to address them correctly and explain to them what we want and what we have already achieved. That is why it is necessary to use social networks more, “said Vostrá.
Many communists believe that the party lost its votes due to the coronavirus epidemic. “We have older voters, they may have been worried about the disease and they preferred to stay home,” Dolejš admitted. According to him, it is also important to open up to young voters and keep up with the times. “The party is worn out. We need new energy and give the voters a clear signal that we are not heading back, but forward, “he added. Therefore, according to him, it would be appropriate for the leadership to be strengthened by younger members.
“YES takes our votes”
According to Vice-President Konečná, some voters apparently switched to the winner of the YES election movement, and the coalition supporting the Communists lost ground. “The party of Andrej Babiš undoubtedly takes our votes. He presents our successes and our negotiations as his success, “lamented the MEP. Dolejš and Vostrá also agree. “For a long time, it has been dragging its voters to its side, and they have no desire to return yet,” Dolejš told the government movement.
Moreover, the opposite voter camp, which is not in love with Prime Minister Babiš, may have escaped the Communists precisely because they support the coalition. “We chose this path as a minor evil in 2018, but we must be able to explain its contribution to the voters,” Dolejš added.
“In this case, we are divided, some partisans say we should support the coalition, some do not. That may also be the reason why we lost the voters, “Nohavová described the division of the communists.