Agriculture Minister Petr Bendl and Environment Minister Tomáš Chalupa were in close contact with Roman Janoušek, dubbed the ‘gray eminence’ of the Prague chapter of the Civic Democrats (ODS), when they were, respectively, Central Bohemia governor and Prague 6 mayor, the server DenikInsider.cz reports. The revelation widens the scope of suspected cronyism within the center-right party.
Frustrated with the state of corruption in Czech politics, Andrej Babiš, one of the country’s richest entrepreneurs, last year founded the political movement ANO 2011, which plans to register as a party and put forward candidates in upcoming elections. In an exclusive interview with Czech Position, he speaks about cronyism in Prague City Hall under former mayor Pavel Bém (ODS) and the influence of lobbyists like Roman Janoušek and “mafias” on the political landscape.
Czech legal experts say it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to charge former Prague mayor Pavel Bém (Civic Democrats, ODS) and controversial lobbyist Roman Janoušek with corruption based on wiretaps made public this month. Excerpts from conversations between the two recorded in 2007 appear to confirm speculation about widespread cronyism and corruption in City Hall during Bém’s leadership of the Czech capital.
President Václav Klaus’ reaction to the publication of wiretap recordings between former Prague mayor Pavel Bém and “godfather” lobbyist Roman Janoušek prompted a number of Czech commentators to suggest Klaus is apprehensive about the exposure of corrupt practices that could lead to his own door. On Wednesday the Slovak daily SME went further, claiming Klaus carries most responsibility for corruption in the Czech Republic.
Prague Police Chief Martin Vondrášek is under pressure to resign over what observers called grievous procedural errors in the arrest of the controversial lobbyist Roman Janoušek for drunk driving, causing grievous bodily harm, fleeing the scene of an accident — and then from the police.
According to Czech Position’s information, the daily Mladá fronta dnes is in possession of a total of 40 minutes of recordings of conversations between ex-Prague mayor Pavel Bém and lobbyist Roman Janoušek and politicians from the Civic Democrats (ODS). But while what has been published is only a fraction of the content — and the public cannot expect to hear more — that is not the fundamental concern.
The Civic Democrats (ODS) party leadership (“gremium”) have backed Prime Minister Petr Nečas’ call for former Prague mayor Pavel Bém to hand in his parliamentary mandate due to evidence that has emerged of corruption and cronyism during his reign in City Hall.
Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda’s indirect call pn his predecessor Pavel Bém to resign from the Civic Democrats (ODS) over cronyism and corruption during his tenure in City Hall has reportedly been backed by the club of politicians from the party’s Prague chapter. Bém says he will fight tooth and nail to preserve his political career.
Once described as the man to fix everything, lobbyist Roman Janoušek is now in a pretty big fix of his own making. The controversial Prague lobbyist’s true colors came to the fore in his drunk driving attempt on Friday to flee the accident scene. The follow-up police proceedings will show whether he really can find a solution to everything or whether the man dubbed Voldemort is not the Teflon man we once thought.
Mladá fronta dnes (MfD) this week began publishing partial transcripts of recorded conversations from 2007 between lobbyist Roman Janoušek and former Prague mayor Pavel Bém that confirm what many have long believed: it was Janoušek pulling the strings at Prague City Hall. The question is, why were the recordings released only now?