Sobotka is among the best-liked Czech politicians, and his party is polling ahead of the ODS
Bohuslav Sobotka, chairman of the main opposition Social Democrats (ČSSD), has formed a new shadow government, including household names like David Rath (health) and Zdeněk Škromach (labor and social affairs) but without the participation of Milan Urban (trade and industry) or Brno mayor Roman Onderka — not to mention former party leader Jiří Paroubek.
Sobotka said he needed to assemble a dynamic hardworking team that would present a strong alternative to the center-right government led by Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS). “We will strive as Social Democrats to present an alternative, a solid human alternative, decent alternative program,” he said in a report aired by Czech public radio.
“And with respect to the fact that this [Nečas] government does not have a clear concept as to where it wants to take our country in the coming years, the aim of this shadow government will not be just to criticize mistakes of the government coalition; we want to prepare detailed concepts, update the economic policy, our own energy concept, our reforms in the areas of pension reform, health care and so on.”
According to a recent STEM poll, if elections were held now, the ČSSD would win 94 seats in the 200-member lower house of Parliament (Chamber of Deputies), the ODS would get 46, the largely unreformed Communists (KSČM) 32 and TOP 09, a junior member in the coaltion government, 28. The other junior party in the Nečas government, Public Affairs (VV), would not garner enough support (5 percent) to win any seats.
A separate STEM survey also found that the top three most popular politicians are all Social Democrats: Sobotka, led with 56 percent either strongly or moderately approving. Senator and ČSSD deputy chairman Jiří Dienstbier was second with 54 percent, and South Moravian Governor and MP Michal Hašek was third with 52 percent.
New Social Democrat shadow government
Jan Mládek– shadow finance shadow
Lubomír Zaorálek – shadow minister of foreign affairs
Petr Kajnar – shadow minister of trade and industry
Zdeněk Škromach – shadow minister of labor and social affairs
Jeroným Tejc – shadow interior minister
Jiří Dienstbier – shadow justice minister
Michal Hašek – shadow minister of agriculture
Milan Chovanec – shadow minister of transportation
Jiří Zimola– shadow environment minister
Marcel Chládek, MBA – shadow education minister
Petr Hulinský – shadow minister for regional development
David Rath – shadow minister of health
Jan Hamáček – shadow minister of defense
Vítězslav Jandák – shadow minister of culture
Michaela Marksová-Tominová – shadow minister for human rights and equal opportunites