New prime minister faces opposition from day one
Former coalition parties and the opposition have expressed their strong disapproval of the naming of a caretaker prime minister by the president on Tuesday. No parliamentary party has expressed support for the new Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok, whose future cabinet is already running the risk of not getting enough votes in parliament to confirm their position
Petr Nečas' out-going center-right cabinet is still hoping to get what they lobbied for last week – the same government, but with the Civic Democrat Miroslava Němcová as prime minister. Insisting that such a cabinet has the support of the necessary 101 deputies for a confidence vote in parliament, the coalition is hoping to call a vote of no-confidence for Mr. Rusnok as soon as possible. Here was Mrs. Němcová’s response to the president’s decision on Tuesday:
“The government of the Czech Republic relies on the support of the lower house of parliament. The president should aspire to name a government, which he knows will get that support. He’s responsible for the fact that we are losing time and momentum in this critical time.”
“People who no one voted for, who don’t have support from any of the parliamentary parties, simply cannot propose a budget that would be acceptable. And no Chamber of Deputies would ever approve a budget like that and Jiří Rusnok knows this full well.”
The Social Democrats certainly dislike agreeing with their right-of-center rivals, but they too disapprove of the president’s move. They are still pushing for early elections, having described the possible new government as Miloš Zeman’s attempt to shore up votes for his own Citizens’ Rights Party by choosing close associates for the cabinet. Senior Social Democrat Lubomír Zaorálek said that this is shaping up to be a government of friends of the president, rather than one of technocrats, as a non-political caretaker government should be.
So far, Prime Minister Rusnok said that he wants Martin Pecina as his interior minister and Jan Kohout as foreign minister – both men held the same posts in the caretaker government of Jan Fischer three years ago. But regardless of how the cabinet shapes up, this attempt to form a government seems already doomed to fail.