Government divided over the naming of Vladislav Husak as acting Police President
The Cabinet on Wednesday appointed Deputy Police President Vladislav Husak for the uniformed police to serve as acting police chief in the Czech Republic. But in a snub to the interior minister, who proposed Mr Husak, they only confirmed him as a temporary stop-gap. Mr Husak is a controversial choice, as he was the officer directly responsible for the police action in July to shutdown the techno rave party known as CzechTek, which left scores injured on both sides.
The chairman of the Christian Democrats, a minor party in the governing coalition, strongly objected to the nomination of Vladislav Husak as police president, calling it an "extraordinarily unfortunate and stupid" idea. The daily Mlada fronta Dnes said in an editorial that opposition to Mr Husak is so great that the Interior Minister, Frantisek Bublan, might be forced to come up with an alternate candidate.
Supporters of CzechTek, including several politicians, have drawn comparisons of the police action to the November 1989 suppression anti-communist demonstrations which began the Velvet Revolution. The fact that Mr Husak was a member of a riot police unit at that time has not helped his public image.
The acting head of the police presidium has also been linked to the well-known defence lawyer Tomas Sokol, whose clients include the fugitive billionaire. Mr Husak has said the two merely play tennis together and never discuss police work.