Archive: Domestic affairs | Political parties Political parties

De-facto leader of Public Affairs stands trial for corruption

05-03-2012 16:04 | Daniela Lazarová

Vít Bárta, photo: CTK The junior coalition party Public Affairs, which won seats in Parliament on a strong-anti-corruption agenda, is facing a major test of its credibility. The party’s de facto leader, former transport minister and present head of the party’s parliamentary group in the lower house Vít Bárta is standing trial on charges of corruption. The court hearings which began on Monday will hear testimony from ministers and MPs and the outcome of the much anticipated trial could shake the party in its foundations.  More

Czechs deeply divided on EU’s fiscal union

19-01-2012 16:07 | Daniela Lazarová

The question whether or not the country should join the emerging EU fiscal union has divided Czech politicians and appears to be fraught with problems. While one governing party is in favour of an emphatic “yes”, and the country’s eurosceptic president has already voiced an emphatic “no”, everything points to the fact that Czechs will continue to sit on the fence for as long as possible.  More

Czech foreign minister says he’ll walk out if Czechs do not join EU fiscal union

12-01-2012 15:53 | Daniela Lazarová

Karel Schwarzenberg No sooner was the government dispute over church restitutions resolved, the Czech government is racked by a new crisis. The leader of TOP 09, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has made it clear that unless the Czech Republic joins the emerging European fiscal union his party would walk out of the coalition government. This latest ultimatum has brought to a head a long-simmering dispute in Czech foreign policy.  More

Public Affairs told to accept restitution deal or leave government

10-01-2012 16:20 | Christian Falvey

Cracks in the three-party governing coalition appeared again this week, as the junior Public Affairs party resisted approval of a church property restitution deal. For the senior Civic Democratic and TOP 09 parties, the deal is a major achievement that has been years in the making. When Public Affairs, which questions aspects of the agreement, attempted to put conditions on its support, the response was clear: approve the deal or leave the government.  More

Czech MPs approve direct presidential election

14-12-2011 16:32 | Jan Richter

After years of debate, the lower house of the Czech Parliament on Wednesday voted in favour of direct presidential elections. A last-minute deal between the coalition and the opposition Social Democrats ensured sufficient support for the motion; if approved by the Senate, it will allow Czechs to elect their president directly for the first time in 2013 when Václav Klaus leaves office.  More

Prague mayor wins in-party showdown to form new coalition

24-11-2011 16:06 | Christian Falvey

Bohuslav Svoboda, photo: CTK A dramatic week at Prague City Hall seems to be drawing to a close and the Czech capital will be under new management. The city’s grand coalition of the rival Civic and Social Democrats ended abruptly on Monday night, and on Thursday morning a new ruling coalition was announced just as swiftly. The TOP 09 party, which actually won the election to City Hall last fall but has been in opposition ever since, will now have a majority on the council, while the Civic Democrats and Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda will keep the top position. Likely no one was more surprised at the outcome of this situation than the chairman of the Civic Democratic Party’s Prague chapter, Boris Šťastný – the man who caused the breakup of the original coalition and who was sidestepped on the decision, which Mayor Svoboda and his supporters arranged with TOP 09 on their own. While political commentators have themselves been struggling to keep up with events at City Hall this week, Jiří Pehe of New York University told us how he interprets the situation.  More

Speculation surrounds fall of Prague’s grand coalition

22-11-2011 15:44 | Jan Richter

Bohuslav Svoboda, photo: CTK The grand coalition of Civic and Social Democrats at Prague City Hall is about to end, a year after it assumed power. In a surprise move, the Civic Democrats in the capital on Tuesday announced they were leaving the ruling bloc, justifying the step by budget and personal issues. However, the unconvincing explanation has given rise to wide-ranging speculation about the real reason behind the reshuffle.  More

New trade minister appointment stirs controversy

16-11-2011 16:01 | Christian Falvey

Martin Kocourek, Martin Kuba, Petr Nečas, photo: CTK President Klaus has appointed Civic Democrat Martin Kuba to head the ministry of Trade and Industry, following the resignation of Martin Kocourek last week. Though Mr Kocourek’s tenure ended amid allegations of corruption, the new minister was clearly not chosen on the basis of a controversy-free political history, as Christian Falvey reports.  More

Lower house passes state budget bill in first reading

03-11-2011 15:06 | Pavla Horáková

Miroslav Kalousek, photo: CTK On Wednesday evening, following a thirty-hour session and after eleven hours of opposition filibustering, the lower house passed the draft state budget for 2012 in its first reading. A majority of 102 deputies for the centre-right coalition Civic Democrats, TOP 09 and Public Affairs approved its revenues, expenditures and deficit figures. The draft budget proposes a deficit of 105 billion crowns, or 3.2 percent of GDP, but could be subject to changes in January.  More

Parties at loggerheads over what should be subject to a national referendum

26-10-2011 16:08 | Daniela Lazarová

There is general agreement among the country’s parliamentary parties that the Czech Republic would benefit from a law on national referendums, however the approval of such a bill is severely hampered by fierce debates on what issues should be subject to a popular vote.  More



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