Christian Democrats oppose Jiří Čunek’s dismissal

The leadership of the Christian Democratic Party is trying to block the prime minister’s attempt to dismiss party leader Jiří Čunek from the government. Mr Čunek, who is deputy prime minister and regional development minister, was to have been one of several ministers replaced within a planned government re-shuffle, but its announcement was put off after the leaders of the two smaller parties in the governing coalition asked for extra time to debate the proposed changes with their party leaderships. The leadership of the Christian Democrats has now backed its chairman, proposing that Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, also of the Christian Democrats, should be replaced instead.

The prime minister on Tuesday officially confirmed it had been his intention to replace Mr. Čunek, but his hands are now tied due to the government’s shaky position in Parliament and the fact that the Czech Republic currently presides over the European Union.