Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil (ODS) was sacked without warning — and apparent provocation. It seems Prime Minister Petr Nečas caved in to pressure from those within his party (and the ‘godfathers’ behind them) who fear an effective prosecution service. But the public smell a rat, and this is the biggest mistake of Nečas’ political career thus far. Once seen as ‘Mr Clean,’ he is now thought to have dirtied his hands.
Czech economist Vladimír Dlouhý, the nation’s very first minister of industry and trade under then Prime Minister Václav Klaus (now serving his final term as head of state), will run for the presidency as an independent. But the advisor to Goldman Sachs in Central Europe must know there is no chance of a sudden wave of public support sending him to Prague Castle. So why has Dlouhý, a former communist, tossed his hat in the proverbial ring?
The Week of Freedom project that launched in Prague last year with the aim starting a tradition of reminding Czechs and Europeans about common values of freedom and democracy has kicked off this year’s event with a happening in support of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist punk-rock collective.
The Czech Green Party (SZ) see potential allies among parliamentary parties to stage a political comeback and reenter the lower house of parliament. Party chairman Ondřej Liška is troubled by dirty money in Czech politics, the procurement system and ministries that often seem to work solely in their own interests, and says he believes the voters are again ready to trust the Greens to do the right things.
Czech President Václav Klaus, a co-founder of the center-right Civic Democrats (ODS) has reportedly welcomed the candidacy of former Social Democrat (ČSSD) prime minister Miloš Zeman, a dark horse in the 2013 presidential elections, which will be the first to be decided by the people rather than the politicians.
A new public opinion poll shows presidential hopeful Miloš Zeman, the former Social Democrat (ČSSD) prime minister, gaining ground on Czech-American economist Jan Švejnar — in the battle for second place. However, the latest Factum Invenio poll shows that Jan Fischer (unaffiliated), who served as prime minister in a caretaker government, would still win by a comfortable margin with 24.4 percent of the vote compared to 17.8 for Švejnar and 12 percent for Zeman.
The Czech government has repeatedly declared the upmost importance and policy priority of supporting Czech exports to countries outside the EU. It is apparently concerned about the quality of services provided by the state to Czech exporters attempting to penetrate into new world markets. The reality is, however, somewhat different: it appears the prime concern is securing lucrative jobs in the state sphere and control of billions of crowns.
The leader of the junior TOP 09 party in the rump Czech coalition government has said the government may fall within weeks although it is expected to survive Friday’s no-confidence vote, called by Prime Minister Petr Nečas, chairman of the senior Civic Democrats (ODS). Karel Schwarzenberg said the real test is whether MPs will keep vote for necessary but unpopular measures.
Czech PM Petr Nečas has called for a vote of confidence in a new three-way coalition he is striving to create based on his Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09 and Karolína Peake’s Public Affairs (VV) refugees, ditching his earlier that she form a parliamentary group with at least 10 members that would support his government.
The new political platform around Public Affairs (VV) defector Karolína Peake boasted eight members of parliament on Monday morning, two short of the 10 target set by PM Petr Nečas for a new coalition to be formed averting elections to the lower house of parliament at the end of June. Peake has said another four or five MPs were considering joining her.