A former advisor of Public Affairs (VV) chairman Radek John and collaborator with de facto party leader Vít Bárta, the former political commentator and pundit Jan Kubáček, appears to be in the race to head President Václav Klaus’ new institute. The behind-the-scenes backer and sponsor of the new institute is set to be the richest Czech and main shareholder in the Dutch-based PPF group, Petr Kellner.
According to an opinion poll published Thursday, 42.5 percent of Czech voters believe a minority government headed by the center-left Social Democrats (ČSSD) with the silent support of the Communist Party of Czech and Moravia (KSČM) would be more beneficial for the country than the current center-right coalition headed by Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS).
Police president Petr Lessy could be living on borrowed time with minister of the interior Jan Kubice seeking to gather information that could cast doubt over his initial appointment and pave the way for his sacking, according to Czech daily Lidové Noviny.
Deputy prime minister for anticorruption strategy Karolína Peake announced Tuesday she is leaving Public Affairs (VV), the smallest of the three parties in the center-right coalition, to start a new political platform in a move that observers say could see the embattled party split into factions centered around her and VV de facto chairman Vít Bárta. At least four and as many as 10 VV deputies have pledged to join her, media reports say.
Czech politics is abuzz over a grand mystery. Who leaked the conversations of ex-Prague mayor Pavel Bém (ODS) and ‘godfather’ lobbyist Roman Janoušek to the media? Czech Position examines the clues and motives. From dozens of meetings with politicians, the security community, senior government officials and businessmen, five names and constructions take shape.
The shaky and unstable Czech center-right coalition has decided to wobble on in power after party leaders agreed to budget targets for 2013 and 2014 and mildly readjusted program priorities. The budget goals were the basic conditions for PM Petr Nečas and TOP 09 to agree to the uncomfortable ménage a trois with Public Affairs (VV).
The heads of the chapters of the Public Affairs party in the districts of Prague have sent a joint email to the party’s Chairman Radek John to stand down as leader and for a party conference to be held in May to choose a successor. John has responded saying he will not consider the proposal until the outcome of negotiations with the party’s two coalition partners is known.
Tomáš Jarolím has announced his resignation as VV’s deputy chairman after taking the blame for his party’s call for three cabinet members to hand in their resignations and for Public Affairs (VV) to quit the ruling coalition. His call came after the emergence of secret audio recordings suggesting that the largest ruling coalition party, the Civic Democrats (ODS), may have encouraged VV members to defect.
Commentary by Istvan Léko. The governing coalition in the Czech Republic is unraveling, but the markets have not reacted at all. “Nobody takes us seriously anymore,” one Czech investment banker complained on Wednesday morning in reaction to the threat from the smallest coalition party, Public Affairs (VV), to leave the government.
April 10 looks like being the make or break date for the center-right coalition of PM Petr Nečas after he set the deadline for a new coalition deal and agreement on the main measures for budgets in 2013 and 2014. Without deals on both between the three coalition partners, Nečas said his party would seek elections in the third week of June.