published: 06.10.2012, 10:53 | updated: 06.10.2012 10:58:32
Prague - The Czech centre-right coalition government has lost its comfortable majority of 118 votes in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, due to its own steps, President Vaclav Klaus said in an interview for today´s issue of the daily Lidove noviny (LN).
Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) and other representatives of the coalition parties, the ODS, TOP 09 and LIDEM, should draw "fundamental conclusions about its further governing" from it, Klaus said.
"A government with support of 118 (deputies) can simply behave differently than a cabinet with 101-vote support. They may have not figured it out fully and now they are are reaping the results," Klaus told LN.
He denied trying to trip up the government by his veto of the pension reform.
"The pension reform is very controversial, I have been telling it repeatedly. I have recommended to reconsider something that will stir up strong emotions in our society," Klaus said.
He added that he would call the government pension reform "a change" but not a reform. It is not rational and will not have an immense effect, he noted.
In late September, Klaus vetoed the key pension reform bill enabling Czechs to send part of their compulsory pension insurance contributions to private accounts as from next year. He said the bill lacked the necessary consensus of experts, politicians and in society.
Klaus thereby complicated the government´s situation since several ODS deputies had already rejected the government stabilisation package of tax changes. Now they are negotiating whether they would support it or not in a new vote that the government connected with a vote of confidence.
Klaus said the government had thereby brought itself into a difficult situation.
Necas has taken up a role that does not do him any good and that is undermining his position, Klaus pointed out.
In the interview, Klaus also indirectly supported former Social Democrat (CSSD) prime minister Milos Zeman as his successor in the January presidential election. Klaus said he considered Zeman a politician unlike other candidates.
On the other hand, Klaus criticised Foreign Minister and TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg who is also one of the presidential candidates.
Zeman, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2003 when he was defeated by Klaus, is now considered the election favourite, along with Jan Fischer, former PM of a caretaker cabinet, according to opinion polls.
Klaus´s second and last five-year term in office expires in early March, 2013. The first direct presidential election in the Czech Republic will be held on January 11-12, 2013.
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