President Václav Klaus has taken over management of the government crisis. Since he is now in a very important stage of his presidential reign — his mandate ends in a little over a year and a half — we can expect him to make increasingly bold interventions into domestic politics. He should be praised for this because he’s probably the only one who knows exactly what’s behind the current crisis, and it’s absolutely obvious that he doesn’t want to play this game.
So what is the game? To start with, it’s got nothing to do with the role in Czech politics of ABL, the private security and detective agency founded by outgoing transport minister Vít Bárta. That was just the catalyst.
Right from the beginning of the coalition government the leaders of the center-right Civic Democrats (ODS) and Top 09 parties knew full well about the methods Bárta used to run the third coalition party Public Affairs (VV) and the ministries under its control. They probably knew more — and more damning — details than those that have appeared in the media over the past week and half. To now pretend that it is terrible and that the government didn’t want the crisis is an insult to the intelligence of voters. The purge of ABL from Czech politics is just a side effect and was bound to happen sooner or later.The prime aim was, and still is, to make PM Petr Nečas a puppet and to gain and maintain positions in the structure of state power.
The prime aim was, and still is, to make Prime Minister Petr Nečas a puppet, to gain and maintain positions in the structure of state power which have already been lost or are now in serious danger as a result of Nečas’ policies, not Bárta’s or Radek John’s (VV).
It’s no coincidence that the crisis erupted shortly after Nečas and Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil (ODS) launched a clean-up of the state prosecution service — an institution which is more powerful than the intelligence services, police or courts. Who controls the prosecution service can do what they want in this country. Like it or not, that’s the way it is.
According to Czech Position’s information, during Nečas’ last visit to Prague Castle, the president wanted the prime minister to tell him who started the crisis and reportedly asked whether it was the trio of Mirek Topolánek, Ivan Langer and Petr Tluchoř (all ODS). According to our source, Nečas admitted that it was Tluchoř and Topolánek, but not Langer. The PM couldn’t lie to the president after all!
Being a passionate tennis player and fan, Klaus no doubt attended the Czech Republic — Kazakhstan Davies Cup match in Ostrava at the beginning of March and saw Kristýna “rat” Kočí being nurtured like a cuckoo’s egg by the high-ranking lads from the ODS Petr Tluchoř, Pavel Drobil, Ivan Langer and Mirek Topolánek. That in itself is was not evidence of a future putsch agitator, but the president undoubtedly has a lot of information from a range of sources to make the correct judgment.
So that’s clear and therefore the president’s actions are clearly decipherable, or, as he would say himself — inaction. The president has been accused of not wanting to observe the Constitution. But Klaus knows Nečas and knows that he wouldn’t deliver the “accept or leave” ultimatum to Public Affairs upon his own initiative, but was coerced to do so by Tluchoř and [Miroslav] Kalousek (TOP 09). And the president is also well aware that Nečas is pressuring him because he in turn is being pushed by Tluchoř and co. Klaus knows Nečas and knows that he wouldn’t deliver the ‘accept or leave’ ultimatum to Public Affairs upon his own initiative
We don’t want to advise the prime minister, but if he wants a role in a Nike advert (slogan: Be the one who decides!), he should stop taking Tluchoř with him to meetings of the coalition leaders.
The president and prime minister have now dug into their respective positions. Nečas has declared that as long as Václav Klaus doesn’t fulfill his constitutional responsibilities and accept the resignation and dismissal of three VV ministers there will be no further K9 [the leaders of the coalition parties] negotiations. Maybe Klaus wants to give Nečas time to finally realize that he doesn’t have a reliable defense for the role in the game he is playing but did not choose.
Somebody will have to back down in order to break the deadlock, which cannot go on for long. And it won’t be the president. He can’t allow someone to play games with him using resignations and promises of resignations. He doesn’t want to be drawn into a scheme whereby someone brings down the government, then from the chaos forge a position for themselves which the Prague Castle will have to consecrate in line with the Constitution.
Once Klaus is certain that most of the actors involved are motivated by the interests of this country rather than saving their positions or securing new posts he will immediately go about fulfilling his constitutional duties. Not before.