published: 08.02.2013, 07:17 | updated: 08.02.2013 08:38:15
Prague - Milos Zeman has a chance of being a strong Czech president even without changes to the constitution extending presidential powers, Martin Biben writes in the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.
He recalls that neither first Czechoslovak President Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1918-35) nor his successor Edvard Benes (1935-38, 1945-48) had bigger powers guaranteed by the constitution, yet no one would call them merely ceremonial and representative figures.
Both presidents won their strong position partially thanks to the respect they enjoyed before assuming the post as well as thanks to the exceptional historical and political situation, Biben recalls.
He says Zeman is rather disadvantaged by his reputation and a not very exceptional international political situations. On the other hand, his desire to become a strong political player plays into his hands, Biben adds.
Zeman definitely cannot reckon with support of the media, intellectuals and artists but he can rely on the strong left-wing. He has not become estranged from the Party of Citizens' Rights (SPOZ) whose honorary chairman he is, he shows an accommodating approach to the Social Democrats (CSSD) and has good relations with the Communists (KSCM), Biben recalls.
Unlike Vaclav Havel (in office 1989-2003) who never enjoyed legislators´ support, and outgoing President Vaclav Klaus who has been losing it gradually, Zeman can really become a strong president with it, Biben says.
This can be frustrated by the fact that Zeman has actually never been a hard-core leftist. However, he will probably try hard not to show it off, Biben writes in conclusion.
Czech president-elect Milos Zeman has probably not learnt a lesson from his past if he intends to bring Hynek Kmonicek, former deputy to the controversial Social Democrat (CSSD) foreign minister Jan Kavan, to the Presidential Office, Daniel Kaiser writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.
Such a step would be really presumptuous since Kmonicek, Kavan´s former close aide, evokes the era of Zeman´s CSSD minority government (1998-2002) when Zeman´s people were masterminding one scandal after another, Kaiser says.
Either Zeman does not care or the rehabilitation of his former government should even be part of the sense of his presidency, Kaiser concludes in LN.
The Czech Civic Democrat (ODS) politicians may be striving for lucrative posts in the supervisory boards and management of state-controlled companies since the senior government ODS is in a deep crisis and its preferences are steeply plummeting, Jan Keller writes in Pravo today.
The party of Petr Necas has suffered a series of election debacles in a row and his government is perceived as an obstacle to solving urgenti problems of the country, Keller note.
He reminds of the ODS deputies who recently left the lower house to help the government push through the unpopular tax package as well as former ODS defence minister Alexandr Vondra who received posts in state-controlled firms recently.
"Since the decline in the ODS preferences will prevent even further ODS officials from serving voters, they will have to move to state service. This is why it is almost sure that the far-sighted government will not nod to any other privatisation. It could cause a considerable decrease in the outgoing ministers and deputies´ living standards," Keller writes in Pravo.
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