Ministers: confidence vote should not be linked to concrete bill

Two ministers from Jan Fischer’s caretaker government have said the cabinet will not link a confidence vote extending its mandate to any concrete bill for the time being: neither an austerity measures package by the finance minister, nor the state budget for 2010. Interior Minister Martin Pecina and Defence Minister Martin Barták made the comments on a Czech TV debate programme on Sunday. Social Democrat deputy leader Zdeněk Škromach reacted by saying that if the government passed the budget it would prove it had sufficient backing in the Chamber of Deputies. But Civic Democrat and former trade minister Martin Říman responded by saying the contrary: that the confidence vote should be linked to the austerity measure. The current interim government, led by Jan Fischer, originally intended to lead the country to early elections in October or November. Those were scuppered last week, when it was revealed the Social Democrats would not back the dissolution of the lower house.

Author: Jan Velinger