Archive: Domestic affairs | Political parties Political parties

Embattled former mayor suspends party membership

27-03-2012 15:32 | Jan Velinger

Pavel Bém, photo: Tomáš Adamec Former Prague mayor and MP Pavel Bém, of the Civic Democratic Party, has heeded calls from fellow members to suspend his party membership. In a written statement issued on Monday evening, Mr Bém confirmed he would take the step in the wake of the on-going “lobbying scandal” that has raised serious questions about his tenure.  More

Controversial Prague lobbyist charged with bodily harm; may face further charges connected to wire tap scandal

26-03-2012 15:28 | Sarah Borufka

Roman Janoušek, photo: TV Nova Prague police have charged the controversial lobbyist Roman Janoušek with menacing behaviour due to intoxication as well as grievous bodily harm. On Friday, Mr Janoušek crashed his Porsche into another car in Prague 4, then hit its driver as he attempted to flee. The news came as the construction tycoon already found himself in the headlines due to scandal over leaked wire taps of conversations between him and former mayor of Prague Pavel Bém.  More

Bárta trial adjourns after an ugly week

09-03-2012 16:50 | Christian Falvey

Vít Bárta, photo: CTK The first round of the trial of leading Public Affairs member and former transport minister Vít Bárta comes to a close on Friday. Over the course of the week no less than six past and present government ministers have taken the stand to give testimony in the biggest corruption case in recent memory, which will be adjourned on Friday while the court goes over the evidence.  More

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

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