Four days before the Czech parliamentary elections (14-15 June), the governing Social Democrats, headed by Vladimir Spidla, are back at the top of opinion polls with 28 per cent of the votes. The Conservative Civic Democratic Party, led by Vaclav Klaus, would finish second winning 24 per cent of votes.
The Conservatives (ODS) are expected to win in Prague, Central Bohemia and East Bohemia. The Social Democrats (CSSD) are likely to win in the regions facing a decline of heavy industry and high unemployment rate.
Two other parties – the Coalition of Christian Democrats and the liberal Union of Freedom and Communists – would end up with 16 and 12 per cent respectively. No other party is expected to reach the 5 per cent treshold, required to enter the Parliament.
The electoral turnout is expected to be traditionally high and should exceed 70 per cent.
This year’s electoral campaign has been surprisingly calm and “boring”, as some observers labelled it. The topics raised in the campaign and arguments used by key political actors resemble the classical Left-Right divide and debates, which focus primarily on such issues as the role of the state, tackling the public debt, the budgetary deficit, the taxation level or tackling excessive bureaucratisation.
The only exception was the issue of the Benes Decrees, which all political parties refused to repeal and negotiate with the Sudeten Germans. The hot debate on the Decrees resulted in the competition between the parliamentary parties on who is best at defending national interests. Consequently, the Lower House of Parliament approved with unprecedented unanimity a political declaration confirming the status quo.