Vít Bárta resigned as transport minister on Friday afternoon, saying that he didn’t want the accusations of corruption against him to damage his party or the functioning of the ruling coalition. PM Petr Nečas promptly accepted Bárta’s resignation and called upon President Václav Klaus to follow suit; nevertheless, Bárta still intends to run for the post of Public Affairs (VV) chairman in May.
Transport Minister Vít Bárta (Public Affairs, VV) has been rewarding party colleagues for their support with cash payments, the weekly Respekt reports in its Monday edition, citing a recording of comments by Jaroslav Škárka, the party’s statuary representative. Škárka now claims he intentionally “mystified” the journalist when he discovered she was making a surreptitious recording.
The Civic Democrats (ODS), although the main partner in the coalition government, have two crucial problems: limited access to the levers of power and a weak party leader, Prime Minister Petr Nečas. Meanwhile, the powerful Ministry of the Interior, which deals with sensitive issues like the ProMoPro and Barták cases, is under the control of Public Affairs (VV) – the smallest party in the coalition.