SPOZ (Strana práv občanů - Zemanovci)

The main goal of the party was to re-establish the leading role of Milos Zeman’s role in Czech politics. Despite the fact that on the CSSD and KSCM were also operating on the left, the party profiled itself as the only true left social democratic party. Although the party had already campaigned in the 2010 election, its real rise in significance was in the 2012/2013 presidential (?) election campaign. Through its success in installing Milos Zeman as president, the party dreamt of a significant electoral success in the 2013 general election. During the campaign, the party was expected to take between 3.5 and 7 % of the vote. The final result of 1.4 % was very surprising to everyone. Even though the party did not pass the 5 % threshold we incorporate the party into the analysis because of Milos Zeman’s role in Czech politics and his use of the Sudeten German issue during the presidential campaign

Election manifesto 2013

The party emphasized the role of culture as a tool for strengthening patriotism even in education. In this respect, the state should take part in the development of national culture and be proud of its history and richness. The party develops the perception of national identity strengthening the element of national interest in fields such as support of agriculture as a means of nurturing the typical Czech landscape.

In the field of European policy, the party approaches the EU in a very instrumental way. Firstly, the party speaks for better use of EU funds; secondly, the EU is defined as a space for enforcing national interests; thirdly the EU is seen as a means of providing energy security.  In this respect, the EU is understood as body defending national security against erosion by neighbouring countries; although what this means in practice, the party does not state.

SPOZ defines foreign policy as open in all directions. Contrary to other political parties, SPOZ supports rationalist relations with Russia, especially in economic cooperation. The reason for designing such a “Russia friendly” policy is the fact that Russian capital supported SPOZ and Milos Zeman heavily. In this respect, from SPOZ’s perspective, foreign policy should be based on economic interests primarily.

It is evident that party's manifesto has many similarities to that of ČSSD at the 2010 election as regards the politicisation of issues related to national identity. According to the way in which the party instrumentalises national history, we classify this manifesto as a homogenization type. Interestingly, for a left party to produce a manifesto of this type is evidence of it following wider European social democratic discourses.