Government wins confidence but its position weakens
The Czech government has survived a vote of confidence in the lower house of Parliament. On Friday, 105 out of 198 deputies voted in its support. The vote revealed that besides the Civic Democrat and TOP 09 parties, the cabinet can also rely on those deputies who quit the Public Affairs party, and at least three MPs who remained members of the former junior coalition partner, which now sees itself as “constructive opposition”. But despite the safe majority in the lower house, the centre-right cabinet might now find it harder to push through some of its reforms bills, according to analyst Jiří Pehe.
What do you think the impact of the mounting public pressure on the government will be? We recently saw one of the largest anti-government rallies since the fall of communism, and the labour unions are talking about going on strike by the end of June. Will this have any impact on the government in your view?
“On the other hand, of course, such public protests have their own dynamics and it’s quite possible that for example if labour unions succeed in paralyzing transportation and industry and their protest comes close to a general strike, this may have serious implications and the government might start unravelling.”
Where does all this leave the opposition in Parliament, the Social Democrats and the Communists? Do you think they have enough strength to try and make the government step down in one way or another?
“They can of course also piggy back on the public pressure but we should not expect the opposition in the near future. All of this might have a cumulative effect and I personally think that the political shock will come in the fall during the regional and senate elections when the government parties will lose lot of votes and may think twice whether they should continue in power.”