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Three days after the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) excluded party chairman Bohuslav Sobotka from negotiations to form a coalition government, and instead entrusted this task to deputy chairman Michal Hašek, support for the “putschists” has declined to the point where they have now declared that they are ready to accept a compromise, reports Lidové noviny.

What the daily describes as a partisan “coup d'état” was prompted by the party’s worse than expected results in elections on October 25 and 26. Its failure “will not only come as a blow to the ambitious Michal Hašek, but more importantly for President Zeman, who has now experienced his second defeat in just a few hours,” remarks Lidové noviny, alluding to the poor performance of Zemen’s Party of Civic Rights (SPOZ), which only polled 1.5 per cent of the vote. Miloš Zeman was hoping to avenge Sobotka’s failure to support him in 2003 presidential elections.

Sobotka is now preparing for negotiations with the ANO movement led by billionaire Andrej Babiš and the Christian democrats with a view to forming a centre-left government.