Freedom Union threatens to leave government if ministers fail to resign

03-04-2005

The leader of the Freedom Union, Pavel Nemec, has asked Prime Minister Stanislav Gross to hold a meeting to discuss the future of the government. The Freedom Union, which is the smaller party in the coalition with the Social Democrats, has decided to leave the government if the entire cabinet refuses to resign. On Friday, the minority government narrowly survived a vote of no confidence, thanks to the Communists who abstained from the vote. On Saturday, Freedom Union Information Technology Minister, Vladimir Mlynar, sent his resignation to the government office, saying he could not be in a government that needs the Communists to stay in power.

Meanwhile, a senior Social Democrat MP, Michal Kraus, said in a TV discussion programme on Sunday that the cabinet would not resign as it would lead to the fall of the government and the rise to power of the opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats. Mr Kraus stressed that his party would stay on as a minority government even if the Freedom Union were to depart. In such a case, the Social Democrats would have a mere 70 seats in the 200 seat lower house.