Political leaders seek solution to government crisis
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, whose centre-right cabinet was defeated in a no-confidence vote in the lower house earlier this week, on Thursday formally submitted his resignation to President Václav Klaus. Contrary to expectations, the prime minister was not asked to remain in office until the end of the country’s EU presidency. President Klaus made it clear he would use his constitutional right to appoint whoever he wants as prime minister designate – setting down conditions that are almost impossible to meet.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that the Czech Constitution makes it exceedingly hard to trigger early elections - the two strongest parties would have to agree on a constitutional amendment.
Political analysts predict a protracted political standoff and even the prime minister who put a brave face on the fall of his government in the European Parliament this week is no longer able to say it will not affect the country’s EU presidency or the approval of the Lisbon treaty, for that matter. There is also the economic crisis to consider. The prime minister says he won’t shoulder that burden without a mandate of some sort and the opposition is not eager to take over at present. A state of affairs that has analysts asking why the Social Democrats brought down the government in the first place and whether it was a wise move not just in view of the country’s best interests but their own.