Klaus backs embattled police president
Differences between police president Petr Lessy, Prime Minister Petr Nečas and the country’s finance minister, Miroslav Kalousek, reached boiling point this week, leading the country’s head-of-state, Vaclav Klaus, to weigh in. On Wednesday Mr Klaus met the police president at Prague Castle, expressed full support for him and clearly stated that attacks against the police official had to stop.
“He is treading the path of the political activist. In acting as he did I feel that he has overstepped the line and such behaviour is not compatible with the post of police president.”
“After we exhausted all possibilities calling for the finance minister to be recalled from his post, we were left with no other option.”
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, meanwhile, revealed on Wednesday morning he had written records of the controversial phone call which he told Czech Radio would prove that the police president’s version of the story was inaccurate. He promised to read excerpts later ahead of the vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
“I plan on showing contradictions in his story and will give written records, proof, in the lower house, which will show he wasn’t telling the truth.”
Mr Kalousek’s claim aside, President Klaus’ backing of the police president is undoubtedly an attempt to defuse an increasingly explosive situation, at the very least to allow the police to continue unhampered in their work. It is unclear to what degree key actors will respect the president’s call; given how much apparently remains buried beneath the surface, it may be some time before the row is fully resolved. Interior Minister Jan Kubice, for example, has also waded into the fray, saying Mr Lessy told him last month he would step down in September, a claim the police president swiftly denied. At this point it’s anyone’s guess who is telling the truth.