Fight brewing over pressure by PM for head of GIBS to step down
Governments in resignation usually uphold a pledge not to take key decisions for the remainder of their mandate. But that hasn’t stopped the prime minister. Instead, he had doubled down on his intent to force the head of GIBs, the national police inspectorate, to resign. So far, the official has dug in his heels but the matter is promising to heat up even more in the coming days.
“[GIBS’ director Murín] has not been told why the prime minister lost confidence in him. He hasn’t heard any reasons yet. Understandably, under the law, he answers directly to the prime minister, so that means that additional talks are ahead.”
The move by Mr Babiš, whose government failed its vote of confidence in the lower house in January, has raised the hackles of members of the opposition, including the Civic Democrats. They are trying to initiate a resolution in the lower house restricting the prime minister’s options and, if that fails, to push for similar legislation limiting decisions taken by the government in resignation. The head of the Civic Democrats’ deputies club Zbyněk Stanjura pointed to the problem of an outgoing prime minister “himself charged by the police over alleged EU subsidy fraud” with pressuring a police official. The prime minister has since called for the so-called Stork’s Nest affair to be left out of the matter.
The Pirate Party also expressed worries and made clear it would demand an explanation on Thursday from Prime Minister Babiš during question period in the lower house. Party leader Ivan Bartoš:
“I want to know the reasons which are truly leading the prime minister to want to recall a person in such a high post at GIBS.”
The outgoing Prime Minister also plans to attend a meeting of the Security Committee of the lower house and to discuss the case with the Highest State Attorney Pavel Zeman. More should be known in the days to come.