Police raid at Office of Czech Government sends shockwaves across political spectrum
A raid by the country’s organised crime unit at the Office of the Government and several other institutions has sent shockwaves throughout the country. Among those detained are former Civic Democrat MPs and a close aide to the prime minister. The scandal has rocked the Czech political scene and there is speculation it could result in the government’s fall.
The police crime unit has been tight-lipped about the operation from the start; on Thursday morning the unit’s spokesman Pavel Hanták revealed only the following:
“The police are continuing the operation which is being overseen by the high state prosecutor in Olomouc. All steps being taken have been officially approved and are in line with the law.”
“I think what we are seeing here is truly unprecedented. Both in terms of the scope and in terms of the individuals who have come under scrutiny.”
The opposition have called for an explanation throughout the day but for most of Thursday the prime minister was markedly absent, failing to attend a parliamentary session which was eventually curtailed. The opposition Social Democrats who are to meet later today to debate the crisis, have made clear they think this cabinet should end and end quickly. Social Democrat MP Jeronym Tejc:
Others, such as the Civic Democratic Party’s partners in government, TOP 09, are not jumping to any conclusions, but they too want an explanation. Primarily, if close aide Jana Nagyová is implicated, it is clear they expect the prime minister to step down. As it stands, at best the government faces a vote of no-confidence but at this point no one will be surprised if developments spiral into its collapse.