Senate head calls for ODS leader to consider stepping down

The head of the Czech upper house, the Senate, has called for the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats Mirek Topolánek not to stand in upcoming elections and to consider his post as party leader after insulting comments about gays and the Church. Senate head, Přemysl Sobotka, who is a leading member of the Civic Democrats, made the call in a short statement, adding that the comments were inflammatory and conflicted with basic ODS ideas.

Former prime minister Mr Topolánek said in an interview with a gay magazine that Transport Minister Gustav Slamečka would back down if the going got tough. He said the same applied to Prime Minister Jan Fischer because of his Jewish origins. In separate comments, Mr Topolánek said the Church had brainwashed people and made idiots of the masses. Mr Fischer described the comments as “insulting, stupid and devious” and said he would curb future contacts with Mr Topolánek.

Mr Topolánek said on Monday that reaction within the Civic Democrat party was artificially inflated.

Author: Chris Johnstone