Former Social Democrat MP resigns
Deputy Michal Pohanka, who was elected to the lower house as a Social Democrat MP, but later switched to being an independent, has said he will resign. Mr Pohanka gained notoriety following the 2006 parliamentary elections, which essentially resulted in a stalemate. Along with fellow Social Democrat MP Miloš Melčák, he voted to give confidence to the opposition coalition government. The move earned the MP the label of “defector” and Mr Pohanka soon left the Social Democrat ranks. The move undoubtedly makes life somewhat more complicated for the governing coalition as the Social Democrats are likely to appoint a replacement whom they believe will vote along party lines. The stated reason for Mr Pohanka’s decision is to give space for the governing Civic Democrats and opposition Social Democrats to negotiate, particularly over the future of the Lisbon Treaty – the MP denied that political pressure had played a role in the decision. Many fellow MPs said they were surprised by the resignation.