Former PM Topolánek rejects accusations of excessive lobbying

Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolánek has sharply rejected President Václav Klaus’s accusations of unprecedented lobbying during his government’s tenure. Hitting back in an interview for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes, Mr Topolánek enumerated a list of lobbyists closely linked to Mr Klaus’s government in the 1990’s, adding that the president would most likely deny knowing the lobbyists in question and that under normal circumstances he would not have brought the matter up on the grounds of common courtesy. Mr. Klaus in recent years has been unsparingly critical of the Civic Democrats, the party he himself founded in 1991, for what he sees as a divergence from core conservative principals under Mr Topolanek’s leadership. The current dispute was sparked by Mr Klaus’s claim that no government in the course of the past 20 years had allowed lobbying to reach the level it did during Mr Topolánek’s tenure."