A big tour of Pilsen launched the regional and Senate elections campaign of the Social Democrats [ČSSD]. They want to successfully defend at least seven of the 11 governorships which they have held since the last elections. Prime minister and ČSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka visited two factories, a farm and two nursing homes. He also had a chat with some railway workers and a walk-around the centre of the regional capital.
Some Social Democrat ministers went through a similar type of program and proceeded to an early evening meeting with city inhabitants. Apart from winning the governorships in the elections four years ago, ČSSD took 205 regional representative seats which, along with 12 Senate seats, it will seek to retain in the contest due in October. The party is pouring CZK 85m into its campaign.
During one of his Pilsen encounters, Sobotka responded to finance minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš’s proposal to lower tax on draught beer by saying: “We prefer to lower VAT on food, beer can wait.”
The Christian Democrats [KDU-ČSL], who presented their regional and Senate candidates in Prague, are out to upset the dominance of ČSSD in parts of the country. They want to disturb the entrenched regional political order and break the red-orange coalition. “We are sticking to regional topics and in the elections we are standing candidates who are familiar with the given local situation,” said KDU-ČSL leader and deputy PM Pavel Bělobrádek.