Prime minister faces double-edged political and domestic crisis
Under fire from the president and his party colleagues, the Civic Democratic Party leader Mirek Topolanek is now fighting for political survival. To make matters worse he faces a serious domestic crisis. Following months of speculation regarding his relationship with Lucie Talmanova, a deputy for his own party, the prime minister finally announced at the end of last week that he was leaving his wife for his mistress.
Although the prime minister's personal problems have come at the worst possible time, they alone would not be considered reason for him to resign.
Topolanek is not the first Czech politician whose extra-marital life has been splashed across the papers. Vaclav Klaus' highly publicized relationship with a young stewardess did nothing to harm his chances of becoming president in 2003. Czechs might blame the prime minister for failing to give them a stable government but they sympathize with and crack jokes about his domestic problems. In a cartoon the tabloid Blesk shows a visibly pregnant Talmanova asking the distraught 50 year old prime minister how he would explain himself at home. "I am more afraid of what the party will say" Topolanek replies.