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Profile: Cyril Svoboda
Cyril Svoboda was a participant or observer in the following events:
Cyril Svoboda, leader of a grouping of Czech center-right political parties known as the Four-Coalition (Ctyrkoalice), resigns from his position over the formation of a shadow cabinet to oppose the country’s current government. Svoboda is replaced as the coalition’s leader by Karel Kuhnl, chairman of the Freedom Union (Unie svobody), the grouping’s second largest member. Svoboda refused to lead the shadow cabinet because of the presence in it of Miroslav Kalousek, like Svoboda a member of the Christian Democrat Party (KDU-CSL). Svoboda had given party colleagues an ultimatum that he would not sit in the same shadow cabinet as Kalousek and forced them to choose between the two men. They chose Kalousek, who becomes shadow minister of industry and trade. Svoboda’s objections to Kalousek concern his previous work as deputy minister of defence, when he was involved in procurement decisions. Hana Marvanova, another member of the Freedom Union, also exits the Four-Coalition’s leadership over objections to Kalousek’s presence. [Mlada fronta DNES, 4/1/2001]
Miroslav Kalousek is elected the new chairman of the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), defeating the current chairman and foreign minister Cyril Svoboda in the second round of voting at the party’s conference in Ostrava. Kalousek obtained 164 votes, whereas Svoboda only got 131, but was then elected to one of the five deputy chairman positions. Shortly before the election, Mirek Topolanek, chairman of the center-right Civic Democratic Party (ODS), had indirectly supported Kalousek over Svoboda in a speech to the conference, whereas Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla of the Social Democrats (CSSD) had offered indirect support to Svoboda, the favourite before the election. Despite this assistance, Svoboda’s position was hampered by his unpopular support for the US-led invasion of Iraq, his pro-European orientation, and, in particular, the party’s poor performance in recent elections, which may be the deciding factor between the two candidates. [Novinky(.cz), 11/8/2003]
A number of high-profile personalities leave the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL). The first to go is former party chairman Miroslav Kalousek, who has already announced his intention to leave and form a new party, to be called TOP 09. He is followed by lower house deputy, Vlasta Parkanova, who intends to follow Kalousek into TOP 09, her colleague Pavel Severa, and Senator Ludmila Mullerova. The exits mean that a total of five deputies have recently left the party. “Today I left the party and handed over my party card,” says Kalousek, adding that the KDU-CSL’s deputies club can throw him out if it wants. Whereas Severa says he is upset at the recent election of Cyril Svoboda to the position of party chairman, because of personal issues—in particular a property dispute—Svoboda is involved in, Parkanova is unhappy over an apparent move by the party to the left. [Novinky(.cz), 6/9/2009]
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