published: 05.09.2012, 00:09 | updated: 05.09.2012 06:26:03
Prague - PM Petr Necas faces the toughest test in his political career as a rebellion has burst out against him among his Civic Democrats (ODS) under the pretext of ideological consistency, and he cannot do anything else but suppress it by force, Petr Honzejk writes in daily Hospodarske noviny today.
Necas´s position in the battle is not good, Honzejk writes.
By linking the lower house´s vote on the controversial tax package with a confidence vote, Necas may succeed in pushing the bill through, because the ODS rebels would refrain from sinking their own government. However, from a long-term point of view, Necas cannot rule against his own deputies, mainly now that the government commands the slimmest possible majority of votes in parliament, Honzejk writes.
Necas´s fate depends on the rebellion´s co-mastermind, President Vaclav Klaus. If Klaus is sure that there are enough deputies prepared to support a cabinet with another prime minister, more favoured by Klaus, for example [current industry minister] Martin Kuba (ODS), he probably would not hesitate to unseat Necas, Honzejk writes.
The rebellion in the ODS is an internal battle in which a number of various interests play a role. One of them may be the ongoing tender for the extension of the Temelin nuclear power plant. This would explain the reasons behind Klaus´s recent crusade against Necas. With Necas at the helm, the cabinet would never place the order with the Russians, with whom Klaus tends to favour, Honzejk writes.
The rebellion of several Civic Democrat (ODS) deputies who on Tuesday said they would not support the government-planned VAT increase evidently frightened PM and ODS chairman Petr Necas, but his cabinet´s fall is improbable, Daniel Kaiser writes in daily Lidove noviny.
If Necas linked the controversial bill with a confidence vote, the rebels, headed by MP Petr Tluchor, would be deciding in the vote on whether the ODS-led right-wing government will be replaced by a government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), Kaiser writes.
In view of the present state of the government parties, it cannot be ruled out that the CSSD, if it came to power, could keep it for eight to twelve years. Does anybody believe that Tluchor wants to be responsible for it? Kaiser asks.
Irrespective of this, it is true that Necas has allowed himself to be manoeuvred into a position that is irrational and unpopular at the same time, and he has "donated" the position which is rational and popular to his party rivals, Kaiser writes, alluding to the VAT increase promoted by Necas and opposed by his critics.
The government of Petr Necas, whose survival is at stake again, is no longer a guarantor of either reforms, or budget responsibility or anti-corruption struggle, Hospodarske noviny´s editor-in-chief Petr Sabata writes elsewhere in the daily.
He reacts to the refusal by a part of deputies for Necas´s Civic Democratic Party (ODS) to back the government´s key bill increasing VAT.
The government has failed to do some of the planned reforms and it has failed to appropriately explain others, Sabata writes.
The government´s alleged fight against corruption has been untrustworthy since June when Necas sacked justice minister Jiri Pospisil or even since the spring of 2011 when Vit Barta´s plan to use the Public Affairs (VV) party and the ABL security agency to "privatise" the state, Sabata writes.
The government cannot carelessly increase taxes, citing the need to curb debts, because it neglects its duties by doing nothing against the excessively expensive state administration, against the wasting of public money and against the state allowing its assets to be stolen en masse, Sabata writes.
At present, the only thing the Necas cabinet guarantees is that even a worse cabinet will come to power tomorrow, he adds.
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