Weeks after his expulsion from the Civic Democrats, anti-EU MP Václav Klaus Jr. has revealed plans to launch a new party following May’s Euro elections. His father, the well-known former prime minister and president Václav Klaus, is set to occupy an honorary role in the new grouping. I discussed the politics and prospects of “Young Klaus” – as many call him in Czech – with political scientist Petr Just.
Former president Václav Klaus says that if the Civic Democrats had
expelled his son, Václav Klaus Jr., a few weeks sooner, the two would have
had time to found a party under which the latter could have stood in
elections to the European Parliament in May. He made the comment in an
interview for the newspaper Blesk published three days after Václav Klaus
Jr. had his membership of the Civic Democrats revoked.
Mr. Klaus also said that the Civic Democrats should change their name as, he argued, they bear no resemblance today to the party he founded in the 1990s.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Prague, Yevhen Perebyjnis, has hit back at a
statement by former Czech president Václav Klaus, who said on Sunday that
Ukraine was being goaded by Western political elites, including that of the
Czech Republic, to provoke Russia. Mr. Perebyjnis asked on Twitter whether
Czechoslovakia had provoked Nazi Germany to action in 1938.
Mr. Klaus said on TV Prima that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behaving cautiously and soberly and not reacting to each provocation, adding that this was fortunate. Mr. Perebyjnis asked whether Hitler too had been cautious and sober.
The Ukrainian ambassador’s comments received support from Czech MEP Jaromír Štětina and former TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek.
Russia does not present a threat to the Czech Republic, unlike the EU with
its numerous directives, former president Václav Klaus said on Sunday in
an interview for commercial TV Prima. Commenting on international and
domestic affairs, Mr. Klaus said he agreed with President Donald Trump that
Russia should be allowed to re-join the G7.
As regards developments at home, the politician who founded the Civic Democrats and who later left the party over ideological differences, criticized its present leader Petr Fiala for not using the opportunity to form a centre-right coalition with the ANO party.
Mr. Klaus said ANO was an “ideologically shapeless mass” that could swing left or right, and pushing it right would have served Czech interests better.
President Miloš Zeman has said he was deeply offended by an institute
founded by his predecessor Václav Klaus, when it issued criticism of the
head of state for parts of his recent inaugural address. He made the
statement on Thursday on TV Barrandov, where the president appears with
The Václav Klaus Institute had criticized the inaugural address as an
inappropriate vehicle for what it called his vengeful settling of accounts
with his opponents; during the speech the president criticized businessman
Zdeněk Bakala and journalists who work for the Economia group as well as
The institute is not alone in criticizing the president for his speech: some lawmakers walked out even before it was over and students and other citizens have taken part in demonstrations around the country taking issue with Mr Zeman’s singling out of journalists and public broadcaster Czech TV.
The Václav Klaus Institute, created by the former president and politician
of the same name, has joined the chorus of criticism against current Czech
head of state Miloš Zeman over his inauguration speech.
The foundation said that Zeman, starting a new five year term in office, used the occasion to vent his revenge and settle accounts. During is speech on Thursday, Zeman devoted considerable to attacking Czech businessman Zdeněk Bakala and his media empire as well as public broadcaster Czech Television.
The institute added that Zeman chose the wrong occasion for such a speech. It added that he made little effort to look to the country’s future or even refer to the fact that this year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.
Zeman followed Klaus into office as president during his first term as head of state.
Most of the defeated candidates, including Pavel Fischer, Marek Hilšer and
Mirek Topolánek, have given their endorsement to Jiří Drahoš in the
second round of the presidential election.
Michal Horáček said he would support any candidate running against Miloš Zeman in the second round, while former Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek called on his voters not to stay at home in the second round and vote for Jiří Drahoš.
Vratislav Kulhánek, who finished last in the first round of the presidential elections, has also given his backing to Mr Drahoš, arguing that era of Miloš Zeman was over.
The first stage of the Czech presidential elections is reaching its climax with voting taking place this Friday and Saturday. The nine candidates seeking to become head of state will be trying to get their final messages through in the next days and that’s likely to mean a rush to the campaign coffers where some are, apparently, more equal and open to scrutiny than others.