Opposition Civic Democrats will strive to bring down government
The strongest opposition party in Parliament, the centre right Civic Democrats have declared their intention to try to bring down the three-party coalition government and trigger early elections. The public announcement made by the party's leader Miroslav Topolanek, comes in the wake of a fresh blow for the governing coalition: one of its deputies broke ranks on Tuesday, seriously endangering the government's razor thin majority in the Lower House.
"Constitutionally, it is very difficult to trigger early elections. It is impossible without a Constitutional amendment and we see very little chance that early elections could be called without broad political discussion or some political arrangement. Whether there will be a will to do that -like in 1997/98 - that is a question, but it is one possibility. Without early elections we are not willing to share any responsibility within any possible new coalition."
The leader of the Civic Democrats Mr. Topolanek has said that the party will use all legal means to bring down the current governing coalition, which obviously means cooperating with someone. Are you prepared to cooperate with the communists on this, would they cooperate with you to bring down this government?
"I do not believe that the communists want to see this government fall. In fact, I think they want the exact opposite. The communists work on the assumption that the weaker this coalition is, the stronger their own potential, because if Prime Minister Spidla loses the support of his own MPs he will try to find supporters among the communists. So I do not rely on any cooperation with the communists as regards the fall of this government."
So early elections aside, what would the Civic Democrats prefer to see at this point ? We know that some Social Democrats -such as Mr. Hojdar -are striving for closer cooperation with the communists. Would you prefer to see this government in office until early elections or would you prefer to see a caretaker government in office?
"It is too early for me to give you some definite response on that. The question whether this government could stay in power or not will be resolved by the end of this year. There are certain developments within the Social Democratic Party, there are developments within the Christian Democratic Party and within the Freedom Union as well. And we will see very soon - in the upcoming months -where these developments will lead."
Would the Civic Democrats be prepared to take on the responsibility of government -with all that it entails, the reforms and everything?
"If there were to be early elections and if we won the elections we would be prepared to take on that responsibility, and as the strongest subject of some possible future government we would strive to include into a governmental programme some of our major programme priorities."