Deputy Prime Minister could face corruption charges
Christian Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek, who is suspected of having taken a half a million crown bribe while he served as mayor of Vsetin, is sinking deeper into trouble. Several of his chief witnesses have been accused of perjury -and the Prime Minister's patience with Mr Cunek appears to be at an end. However dismissing his deputy is proving harder than one might expect.
"If this case is not shelved and if the police should file charges against Jiri Cunek then I hope that he will do what is right. If he does not, I will have to make that decision for him."
"Jiri Cunek's performance is not assessed only on the grounds of this scandal. People still remember his activities when he was mayor of Vsetin, particularly how he resolved the problems relating to the Roma minority in town. And it is obvious that people approved of his decisions, approved of his actions and they are not ready to write him off just yet. In a way what he did then is still working for him today. It still gets him points in opinion polls. But there is of course also a negative side linked to these more recent scandals and accusations."
Clearly the Christian Democrats can't make up their minds what would hurt them more - to let Jiri Cunek go or to keep him in office. As for Mr. Cunek himself he is determined to ride out the storm - saying that he would not leave government of his own accord even if he were charged with corruption.