Social Democrats launch inner-party referendum on ballot nomination rules

The coalition Social Democrats have launched a first ever referendum on changes to the inner workings of the party. Ballots were sent to some 22.500 party members on Friday, asking them whether election candidates should be approved by all party members in their voting district, whether to introduce a 40-percent quota for women on Social Democrat ballots, and whether the party should spearhead legislative efforts to limit the number of paid public offices held by one person. Social Democrat party members have until August 3 to return the ballots. Prime Minister and party chair Bohuslav Sobotka said he hoped the vote would revive the party and attract new members.