Coalition leaders divided over possible return of Christian Democrats chairman to cabinet

There is disagreement in the governing coalition over the possible return to cabinet of the Christian Democrats leader Jiří Čunek. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek of the Civic Democrats said on Sunday that the matter should be resolved by the Christian Democrats and the third member of the coalition, the Greens. But Green Party leader Martin Bursík said that was impossible, adding that the prime minister could not take a disengaged position. Mr Čunek insists he be reinstated as deputy prime minister and minister for regional development, after an investigation into allegations he accepted bribes was dropped. However, while Mr Topolánek has signalled a willingness to allow Mr Čunek back into cabinet, the Greens have expressed opposition to his return. A meeting of the coalition’s leaders on Thursday failed to reach agreement on the matter.

Jiří Čunek is no stranger to controversy. Most recently he made headlines for saying Romany culture was incompatible with modern society and calling for extended Roma family networks to be broken up.

Author: Ian Willoughby