President Václav Klaus and former prime minister Mirek Topolánek have exchanged harsh criticism of one another for the growing association of lobbying and politics in the course of their careers. According to the president, the main factor behind the failure of the Civic Democratic Party (which Mr Klaus originally founded) in local elections was the “unfortunate” chairmanship of Mr Topolánek and the emergence of a lobbying structure within the party. Mr Topolánek replied that he was “disgusted” by the remarks, and said that if there was anyone in the Czech Republic who symbolised the merging of business and politics it was Mr Klaus, who he said has surrounded himself with a circle of businessmen since the times of “wild privatisation”. He added that he was not to blame for the party’s election result, as he was neither its chairman nor its candidate.
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