Tuma's appointment continues to cause friction

01-12-2000

The dispute between the Czech government and President Vaclav Havel continues over the appointment of the new governor of the Czech National Bank. On Wednesday, President Havel named the bank's former vice-governor, Zdenek Tuma, as the new governor. Prime Minister Milos Zeman believes the appointment to be invalid and unconstitutional; he claims that the nomination has to be countersigned by himself to become valid. President Havel, however, notes that although this practise was in the past, it is not included in the constitution, meaning that he can, as president, appoint a new governor without the prime minister's approval. RP's Dita Asiedu spoke to independent commentator Jan Urban and asked him why he believed the President appointed Mr. Tuma without the approval of the prime minister, and who he believed was in the right:

With no end in sight to the dispute between the president and the prime minister, the Constitutional Court may have to decide the case. But according to commentator Jan Urban, this is not the only problem the court will have to tackle. Although the responsibility for appointing the governor of the Czech National Bank has hitherto fallen to the Czech president, this will change at the beginning of next year, as a new law is to come into effect which will make the government responsible for the appointment. Mr. Urban believes that it is in fact this new law that is unconstitutional:

01-12-2000