President Klaus refuses ministers' resignations until it becomes clear which others intend to remain in the Cabinet

President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday he would not accept the resignations of the four ministers who have given notice in recent days, until it becomes clear exactly which other ministers intend to remain in the Cabinet.

The Minister of Information Technology, Vladimir Mlynar, tendered his resignation on Saturday, following the results of a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Stanislav Gross the previous day. The ministers of foreign affairs, the environment, and transportation resigned early last week when their party, the Christian Democrats, withdrew from the governing coalition in protest over Mr Gross' refusal to step down following the release of controversial information about his personal finances and the business dealings of his wife.

Mr Mlynar, a member of the centre-right Freedom Union, said he would not remain in a government that relied on the tacit support of the Communists; Mr Gross survived the no-confidence vote only because the Communist deputies abstained from it. The prime minister has promised to call for a parliamentary vote of confidence in the minority government he now leads, but a date for this vote has not yet been set.

President Vaclav Klaus told journalists on Monday that calls to link that vote with the passage of certain legislation would amount to an unacceptable delay in holding the vote, of perhaps months.

author: Brian Kenety

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