Former Czech president Václav Klaus has announced that he will not run in early general elections to be held on October 25 and 26.

The news comes as a relief for the conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which has been rocked by a scandal that brought down the coalition government led by Petr Nečas. Klaus, who founded ODS in 1991, had suggested that he might have unveiled a new Eurosceptic liberal party in the elections: a move that would have threatened the survival of ODS, which, according to the polls, will barely obtain enough support to enter parliament.

For Lidové noviny,the former president’s decision —

… shows that he has not lost touch with reality. […] At age 72, he knows that he only has one chance, and that it would be unwise to waste it in a situation where a major victory for the left is to be expected.