Czech Parliament Dissolved, Paves Way for Communists

Czech Parliament Dissolved, Paves Way for Communists

The Czech parliament dissolved itself on Tuesday, and there is a probability the Communist party will find itself in the new government. They have not been in the government since they were overthrown two decades ago.

The center-right government, which was only in power since July 2010, changed everything when it was revealed the Prime Minister Petr Necas was having an affair with his top aide. She is charged with abuse of power because she used government surveillance equipment to spy on Necas’s wife. She is also charged with bribery because she allegedly promised three politicians a lucrative job if they quit government.

In June, Necas announced he would step down as prime minister and divorce his wife of 25 years. Left-wing President Milos Zeman will schedule an election and it will probably happen at the end of October. But the new government Zeman appointed in the meantime is not working out and interim Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok offered his resignation.

Jan Cienski of the Financial Times is in Prague and sat down with a few citizens. They are not happy about their government and tired of corruption:

“They are all pigs. I don’t even know if I’m going to bother voting in the next election,” says Vaclav, a heavy-set pensioner pulling on a full glass of beer. “All we hear about it corruption and bureaucracy – I’ve had enough.”

While it looks like the Communists will come back, Social Democrat Party Leader Bohuslav Sobotka said the Communists will not have a powerful voice. From The Guardian:

“It is definitely possible to expect negotiations with KSCM [the Communist Party],” Sobotka said. “The Communists are in a number of town halls and in regional leaderships, and I do not see it causing problems.”

But he said his party would not accommodate the Communists’ programme or bring them into a governing coalition.

That was a nod to the toxic reputation the Communists still have for many Czech people, and to worries about backtracking on market reforms in the Czech Republic, one of the more stable emerging markets, which has attracted heavy foreign investment.

The Communists fell out of power in then-Czechoslovakia in November/December 1989 in the bloodless Velvet Revolution. The Czechs held their first post-Communist elections in June 1990.