Greens divided over candidate for education minister
It has taken the Green Party almost two months to come up with a candidate for the post of education minister, and yet, the Greens are deeply divided over the issue. It is not the candidate himself, however, that seems to be causing the controversy but rather the way the Green Party leaders are putting their proposals through. This could prove to be the final straw to the integrity of the smallest coalition party.
“I have to say I am sorry that no agreement was reached despite the fact that we all tried very hard to reach one. For me, this is a confirmation of the fact that there are completely different views within the Green Party, and comes as a great disappointment. We will now have to reconsider this decision as well as our future actions.”
The vote in the seven-member Green Party presidium on Monday was very close – four votes for Ondrej Liska and three votes against him. Mr Liska, vice-chairman of the party and an MP, has been chosen for two reasons in particular – he is hoped to be more skilful in dealing with EU funds than his predecessor, and he supports the policies of Martin Bursik.
Mr Bursik’s opponents had another candidate in mind – Green MP Olga Zubova. But her chances of being elected to the post diminished greatly after she told the press last week that she might not support the state budged for 2008 prepared by the coalition, of which the Green Party is a member. Critics also claim that Mr Liska’s appointment could lead to an extraordinary congress of the party, which could result in the Greens chosing a new leader. Dana Kuchtova again.
These accusations have been rejected by Green Party head Martin Bursik who said the party leadership plays by the book. Mr Bursik will now try to persuade the party’s national council that Mr Liska is the right man for the job. But even if he manages to do so and the row is settled for the time being, Mr Liska’s position will be far from easy. There are other urgent problems to be dealt with by the new education minister – a pending strike by primary and secondary school teachers being just one of them.