published: 01.02.2013, 07:17 | updated: 01.02.2013 08:13:42
Prague - The junior ruling TOP 09, masterminded by its deputy head and Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, might seek a grand coalition with the Social Democrats if it beat the senior ruling Civic Democrats (ODS) in the next general elections, Alexandr Mitrofanov writes in daily Pravo today.
Observers and politicians have agreed that Kalousek is using the situation in the wake of the presidential polls to achieve the position of the Czech right´s leader for himself and TOP 09, Mitrofanov says.
Using the still boiling emotions of those who supported TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg´s candidacy for president, Kalousek has attacked the ODS over the government´s previous refusal to sign the EU´s fiscal compact, Mitrofanov writes.
This could lead to TOP 09´s departure from the government and to early elections, he says.
This conclusion is legitimate, mainly in view of the progressing decline of the ODS. Right-oriented voters would really have two parties to choose between. A fresh public opinion poll has shown that Schwarzenberg and Kalousek´s TOP 09 would beat PM Petr Necas´s ODS if general elections were held now, Mitrofanov points out.
However, what would Kalousek, the champion in manoeuvring and striking compromises, do if TOP 09 beat the exhausted ODS in the next elections [which the opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) are expected to win]? He would have to seek a path to power for TOP 09 and try to form a grand coalition with the CSSD, if the ODS were not strong enough to do it on its own, Mitrofanov writes.
Milos Zeman, the newly elected president, is undoubtedly the third most charismatic Czech post-1989 politician, after Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus, but he is no autocratic sovereign, and it would be tremendously daring of him if he started pushing for the country´s parliamentary system to be changed into semi-presidential, Daniel Kaiser writes in Lidove noviny.
The influence of Zeman on the Social Democrats (CSSD), the expected winner of the next elections, will be surely stronger than that granted to him by the constitution. This will be interesting to watch after the CSSD comes to power, Kaiser writes.
Zeman should be closely watched in the meantime, he adds.
True, Zeman may try to gain control of the political scene on the basis of his charisma now, to paralyse his rivals beforehand by fomenting fears. However, his charisma and of the fears he foments are only as strong as the number of people who admit their existence, Kaiser writes.
If Zeman tried to promote a semi-presidential system, the Constitutional Court should react to such attempts, as should the CSSD chairman and [future] prime minister, Kaiser concludes.
The fresh clash between the Civic Democrats (ODS) and TOP 09 over whether Prague should accede to the EU´s fiscal compact is nothing but another chance for the two rightist government parties to pit the strength one against another, Daniel Anyz writes in Hospodarske noviny.
There would be nothing bad about it, as the competition of parties belongs to politics, but the parties should not take so important issues as the fiscal compact as hostage in mutual battles, Anyz writes.
Otherwise it may happen that the big and important issue, which the Czech Republic´s position in the EU is, may turn into a cheap toy in politicians´ hands, Anyz writes.
In future, this could unpleasantly backfire at those Czech politicians who are real supporters of Prague´s EU membership and of EU integration, Anyz writes, alluding to TOP 09 and its threat not to sign the planned new coalition agreement unless it anchors the Czech accession to the fiscal pact in 2013.
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