Blažek: ODS must get Interior Ministry

ODS vice chair says in an ODS-TOP 09 coalition gov’t, his party wants the Interior Ministry if TOP 09 keeps the Finance Ministry

HOT TOP|Politics & Policy
Martin Shabu | 12.04.2011

Civic Democrats (ODS) vice chairman Pavel Blažek says the party, the largest in the current coalition government, will insist on taking control of the Interior Ministry in a reformed government. “If there is a two-party coalition between ODS and TOP [excluding their current partner, Public Affairs (VV)] and TOP 09 will continue to control the Finance Ministry, then ODS must have the Interior Ministry,” he told Czech Position.

Blažek, who will take part in a ODS-TOP 09 meeting in Prague on Wednesday, added that the Moravian wing of the ODS doesn’t have a single minister in the Cabinet and is therefore not represented in the government led by Prime Minister Petr Nečas (ODS). “We cannot cooperate with the VV. With people like [outgoing Transport Minister and de facto VV leader] Vít Bárta it makes no sense,” he said, confirming that his party is not unified in the direction it should proceed as regards VV. ‘We cannot cooperate with the VV. With people like Vít Bárta it makes no sense.’

A number of key ODS party members are pressuring VV to change its party leadership following the “cash for loyalty” affair that centers on Bárta, the founder of the ABL security and detective agency accused of spying on politicians. Another group is looking at a more practical solution — separating individual VV deputies from their parliamentary club.

An ODS-TOP 09 coalition would in such a case depend upon so-called VV turncoats, commented a minister who did not want to be identified. “ODS must buy a number of handbags,” the minister said alluding to the penchant of some female VV deputies for luxury purses.

Central Bohemian ODS deputy and former transport minister Petr Bendl also wants to take part in a reshuffled Cabinet. According to an ODS source, Bendl has for that reason met with President Václav Klaus. However, Bendl has declined to comment on the nature of the meeting at the Prague Castle. 

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