According to news reports, President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday will reveal plans for forming an interim government as a solution to the ongoing government crisis. A close ally of Mr Zeman’s, former finance minister Jiří Rusnok, is being described as a favourite for the post of prime minister designate. A technocratic government could theoretically rule either until a scheduled national election next year or for a shorter period leading up to early elections. The Czech news agency reported that the president is in favour of the cabinet including government, business and union leaders. If he keeps his word, the decision will scupper the centre-right coalition’s proposal for candidate Miroslava Němcová to become the country’s first female prime minister.
The Civic Democratic Party reacted to the news on Monday, calling the
president’s plan to name an interim government an attempt to bypass the
Constitution. The Civic Democrats noted that no support for an interim
government had been negotiated beforehand, saying this would be the first
cabinet named without the support of any of the parliamentary parties. The
opposition parties were among those against an interim government, while
the centre-right coalition wanted a chance to form a new government under
new prime minister.
The Civic Democrats are continuing to back their own nominee, the speaker of the lower house Miroslava Němcová, for the post. If the president pushes for an interim government, senior party members said earlier they would begin discussing the possibility of early elections.
In related news, the centre-right coalition’s nominee for prime minister, Miroslava Němcová, suggested earlier that the president had largely made up his mind ahead of talks with party leaders over the course of the weekend. In an interview for news website idnes, Ms Němcová said naming an interim government would only deepen the current crisis. None of the parties in the lower house favour an interim government as an option: the opposition Social Democrats and Communists stated from the beginning of the crisis that they wanted early elections and the Civic Democrats are also likely to get on board if Mr Zeman pushes ahead with an interim cabinet. The president is to announce his decision at 3 P.M. on Tuesday.
The leader of the Communist Party, Vojtěch Filip, called President Zeman’s intention on Monday to designate a candidate of his own choosing to head a government of experts “legitimate” but said it was only a “short-term” solution. The way out, he suggested, was early elections as soon as possible. Mr Filip and fellow opposition party leader Bohuslav Sobotka both voiced support for early elections when they met with the president at the weekend. Mr Zeman appears intent on naming a caretaker cabinet, at the very least to fulfil an election promise to end the Nečas government. Mr Zeman said on Czech Radio at the weekend that his more than three million voters would “not be disappointed”.
The head of the country’s Confederation of Industry, Jaroslav Hanák, has denied speculation he is one of four nominees the president is considering for the post of prime minister designate. Mr Hanák issued a statement on Monday to the Czech news agency. The president has said he would like to see members of the tripartite – that is, representatives of the government, business and the unions – form the caretaker government. On Monday, Mr Hanák, who is a close aide to the president, said he had promised in the past to never enter politics.
Police have charged three people with assault and disorderly conduct in connection to violent developments in Duchcov in the Teplice area on Saturday that followed an extremist demonstration. Another eight people were charged with misdemeanours. In the incident, right-wing extremists tried to break through a police line, throwing stones and bottles. The riot police used tear gas and a water cannon in response. A police spokeswoman revealed that eleven officers were injured; none of the officers had to be hospitalised.
The Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute has warned that Monday to Wednesday will see heavy rainfall across the country, especially areas in the Czech-Moravian highlands. The increased rainfall could raise water levels dangerously on some rivers. High-level flood alerts are expected on the Nežárka, Malše, Sázava and Lužnice rivers. The Labe could see a mid-level warning issued. Many parts of the country were hit by floods just three weeks ago.
Presale tickets offered online for the 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival were reserved or sold out in less than half-an-hour on Monday. Ten percent of overall tickets became available at 10 in the morning. Regular counter sales begin on Thursday, a day before the start of the festival. This year more than 200 films will be screened; top stars attending will include French actress Audrey Tautou (Amélie, The Da Vinci Code) and American actor John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever, Get Shorty, Pulp Fiction).
The Boston Bruins, with leading post-season scorer David Krejčí and future hall-of-famer Jaromír Jágr, will have a final chance on Monday to draw out this year’s Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Bruins need to win at home to force a seventh and deciding game in the Windy City. The Bruins have had their backs against the wall in the playoffs already this year, shocking the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round with one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent hockey history. If the Blackhawks win on Monday, two other Czech players, Michal Rozsíval and Michael Frolík ,will be able to hoist the famous trophy.