Czech prime minister resigns amid scandal
PRAGUE — Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas was forced to quit on Sunday by a graft and spying scandal involving his closest aide, pitching the European Union member state into a period of uncertainty over who will form the next government.
Under the Czech Constitution, the entire government will now have to step down, and there is likely to be horse trading between the governing coalition, the opposition and the president before a replacement is in place.
Necas quit days after prosecutors charged the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, with bribing members of parliament and ordering intelligence agents to spy on people.
The scandal has a personal element for the prime minister: One of the surveillance targets, according to lawyers involved in the case, was the prime minister's wife, Radka. The two are filing for divorce.
Necas has said he knew nothing about the surveillance, but the charges were so toxic that his coalition partners signaled they could no longer support him.
“I will resign as prime minister tomorrow,” Necas told a news conference after meetings with his Civic Democratic party and with the leaders of other parties in the governing coalition.
“I am fully aware how the twists and turns of my personal life are burdening the Czech political scene and the Civic Democratic Party,” he said.
He said his party would try to form a new government, led by a different person, to rule until a scheduled election next year. However, it was unclear if that plan could muster enough support in parliament.
Two decades ago, Czech dissident Vaclav Havel led a “Velvet Revolution” that overthrew Communist rule and turned his country into a beacon of liberty. But in the years since then, the Czech Republic has been mired in corruption.
Necas and his administration will stay on as caretakers until a new government is installed. President Milos Zeman will have an important say in who takes over. If after three attempts there is no viable government, or the parliament agrees to dissolve itself, an early election will be held.
Forming a government will be tough for the current coalition because it does not have an outright parliamentary majority. At the moment, it falls at least two votes short.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
- Germanwings flight co-pilot Lubitz worried about job security, officials say
- Suspect in Tunisian museum attack killed
- Nigerians vote despite violence, technical hitches
- Siberian theater director fired over Wagner opera
- Dickens’ desk to go on permanent display museum
- Impasse remains in Iran nuke talks
- Copilot’s friends doubt Germanwings crash intentional
- Air Canada plane skids off Halifax runway in hard landing
- Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say
- Terror strikes Somalia hotel