Turnover of ministers in Nečas cabinet unprecedented
Wednesday’s announcement that Alexandr Vondra is giving up the defence portfolio means that, since the appointment of Petr Nečas’s government in July 2010, 12 ministers have now left the cabinet. Indeed, that’s the highest number of departures from one front bench since the foundation of the Czech Republic. So why is the turnover in the Nečas cabinet so high? And what can we expect next?
Seven ministers from the other coalition parties have also exited the cabinet since July 2010, making a dozen in total – and the highest number of front bench changes of any Czech cabinet ever.
When first appointed, the 14-member cabinet pledged to get tough on graft. A number of ministers have gone after being implicated in just that – and Mr. Nečas says the relatively high turnover actually sends a positive signal to voters.
“It’s unlike in the case of previous governments or government members, when people held on to government seats in such a way as to create the impression that their backs were stuck to the seat in question.”
Journalist and commentator Jindřich Šídlo says there is truth in this. But there’s more to the story.
When it was elected, the Nečas government had the strongest majority ever seen in the lower house, but – largely due to the fragmentation of one coalition party – that majority has now dwindled to a vote or two.
However, for all its tribulations and ministerial musical chairs, the government has achieved some key planks of its programme, including various economic reforms and church restitution.
So while it may now appear to be a lame duck, Jindřich Šídlo does expect it to last the full four years.
In the meantime, the prime minister should soon announce who will take over the currently vacant defence and transport portfolios, with another cabinet reshuffle also expected.