Analyst Jiří Pehe says it is unlikely the president will call early elections

Miloš Zeman, photo: Filip Jandourek

With Prime Minister Petr Nečas stepping down, there are a still a number of different scenarios according to which the current government crisis may be resolved. What is clear is that it all hinges on President Miloš Zeman, who has the power to appoint a new prime minister or even a new government all together. Radio Prague spoke to the political analyst Jiří Pehe and asked him what could realistically happen next.

Miloš Zeman, photo: Filip Jandourek
“President Zeman has said several times that he does not want this government to continue. However, at the same time, he may not be open to early elections, simply because regular elections are scheduled for one year from now and it seems to be a bit wasteful to organize early elections that will be in six months and then hold the elections to the European Parliament six months later.

“So, he may simply opt for a temporary government. And if he does so, there are two options: First, he could ask this coalition to create a government that will be in power until the regular elections, and that, of course, would be a government that would win the vote of confidence in the Parliament, or it would not, but it could still continue.

“Or, he could create his own government, so to speak – a government of experts, or a caretaker government. And that would follow the examples of Josef Tošovský’s or the Jan Fischer’s governments. And this government could stay in power until the elections in 2014. But it is really difficult to predict what will happen exactly, first, simply because Mr. Zeman has not played his cards yet, and, second, this is a case that may still expand and may affect other people in the current coalition and that would of course have some effect how this will continue.”

Does the scandal guarantee a victory for the Social Democrats in the next elections, no matter when they will be held? And does it also guarantee the fact that the Civic Democrats are more or less out of the game for now?

Petr Nečas, photo: CTK
“Well, I think that the Social Democrats have a great chance to win in the next elections, simply because there is no one else to vote for at this point. And I should mention what really puzzles me, and that is the strange behavior of the TOP 09 party, which should really use this situation to its advantage and call for early elections, because it could benefit from it and become the dominant party on the political right.

“As far as the Civic Democratic party goes, I really think that this party is in really big trouble, because it is not just that its top people are under investigation, but I think that what we saw on June 13th – the police raids – is just the beginning, and I think there will be more rounds to this. And much of it will be directed against people associated with the Civic Democratic party. So I really think that this particular partly is in deep trouble.”