Members of the extra-parliamentary party Citizens' Rights - Zemanites have elected Jan Veleba as their new chairman. Delegates expressed the hope that Mr Veleba, a senator and former head of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, would turn around the party's flagging fortunes. The Zemanites, who share close political ties with President Miloš Zeman, suffered a debacle in last year's national election, receiving only 1.51 percent of the vote. Speaking on Saturday, Mr Veleba echoed earlier words by the president supporting the creation of a Scandinavian-style social state. Citizens' Rights have taken part in two general elections, but failed both times to make it into the lower house.
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