published: 02.10.2012, 13:27 | updated: 02.10.2012 13:29:06
Prague - Czech Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaromir Drabek (TOP 09) will resign if his first deputy Vladimir Siska, whom the police accused of bribery on Monday, is found guilty of the crime, Drabek said today after a meeting of the TOP 09 leadership.
Drabek feels full responsibility for having brought Siska to the ministry and made him his first deputy, he added.
Drabek said he would dismiss Siska as soon as possible.
TOP 09 chairman and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg thanked Drabek for his stance. The situation is unpleasant for the party, he added.
The TOP 09 leadership expressed full trust in Drabek, the party's deputy chairman.
"I do not have any concrete information about the accusation of bribery for the moment," Drabek said.
Drabek stressed that in his opinion Siska had not committed the crime. In spite of it Drabek will dismiss him as soon as the dismissal can be delivered to him. It will be valid during Siska's penal proceedings, Drabek added.
The senior opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) demand Drabek´s immediate resignation.
The Social Democrats called on Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats (ODS) to sack Drabek today. They also want an audit of the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry´s orders to be carried out and the lower house investigating commission to look into the case to be established.
The CSSD reminded of an allegedly dubious tender for the ministry´s order worth 2.4 billion crowns.
Detectives detained Siska along with the ministry's IT section head Milan Hojer in the ministry's office on Monday afternoon.
Their prosecution is connected with a tender for some public procurement, anti-corruption police spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej said without elaborating.
The police refused to tell Drabek any details.
A state attorney received the police decision on launching the prosecution in the case today but he did not release any details either.
TOP 09 first deputy chairman and Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek told reporters that the party's leadership took note of Drabek's information and said they support his stance and fully trust him.
"We have no idea of what the deputy minister is accused," Schwarzenberg said. The party firmly stands by Drabek, he added.
Siska is a former sponsor of TOP 09. According to the party's website, he donated 400,000 crowns to it in 2009.
Drabek today again pointed to the lack of information on the case. He reiterated that he would step down if it became clear that Siska had committed such a crime.
Drabek met Necas to discuss the situation, which the prime minister called serious, on Monday evening.
The TOP 09 leadership cannot dare to connect Siska´s arrest with the October 12-13 Senate and regional elections since it does not have enough information, Kalousek said.
In his first reaction to Siska´s detention on Monday, Drabek related the police steps to the upcoming elections.
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