Hamáček's referendum

15.05.2018 - EB

When Bohuslav Sobotka announced the results of ČSSD's internal-party referendum in mid-2014, he misinterpreted the rules for a mail-in ballot and was able to announce a big victory that put in place gender quotas and other changes. He never acknowledged his deception (although his staff did admit this to us and said it was unintentional). ČSSD is now planning a referendum about its coalition with ANO, and there are similar doubts about how the voting will be conducted. According to ČSSD Chair Jan Hamáček, it will take place at local organizations but isn't a vote of these chapters (as strictly defined under Art. 1 of the rules of order). It will instead be a "direct vote" of ČSSD's 17,683 members. Even stricter rules apply for such a vote (ballots, locked ballot boxes, etc.), which means there will be plenty of leeway for opponents of the coalition to cry foul. Unlike in 2014, Hamáček isn't in a position to ram through his preferred outcome no matter what the rules dictate.

Glossary of difficult words

leeway - freedom of movement to act;

to cry foul - to protest strongly about a real or imagined wrong or injustice;

to ram through - to roughly force (a policy, law, etc.) into being.

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