published: 05.10.2012, 00:11 | updated: 05.10.2012 02:15:16
Prague - Czech politicians have finally started leaving their posts in situations when they are suspected of committing crime, Petr Honzejk says in Hospodarske noviny (HN) daily in connection with Labour Minister Jaromir Drabek´s (TOP 09) announcement that he is going to leave the cabinet.
Drabek was forced to make this step after his first deputy and former business partner Vladimir Siska was taken into custody over alleged bribery.
It is true that politicians do not leave their posts voluntarily. Drabek, as well as Martin Kocourek last year and Pavel Drobil (both Civic Democrats, ODS) two years ago, offered their resignation as cabinet ministers only after the situation was explained to them in a soundproof room, Honzejk writes.
But while former socialist prime ministers Milos Zeman and Jiri Paroubek claimed that any minister suspected of serious violation of law must step down without really meaning it, now it is a fact that must be accepted by all who enter politics, Honzejk says.
Naturally there still are politicians who have not realised it, he writes, naming Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra (ODS), politically responsible for an overpriced state order, and regional governor Jana Vanhova (Social Democrats, CSSD), whose deputy was recently arrested over suspected manipulations with EU subsidies.
It is also good news that police officers and state attorneys have started to act self-confidently and that the most usual methods of cheating the state are known, which makes investigation more and more effective, Honzejk concludes.
The case of former deputy labour and social affairs minister Vladimir Siska shows that firms are not afraid of politicians anymore, Lenka Zlamalova writes in Lidove noviny.
When firms get the feeling that politicians and state officials give lucrative orders to those who give them kickbacks, they report it directly to the police, Zlamalova says.
A boss of a computer company contacted the police before his meeting with Siska and the police monitored and tapped it, she notes.
A computer company that may work on many other projects than those paid by state offices can find courage to report corruption more easily than for example firms active in pharmaceutical or power industry where politicians and bureaucrats are the main customers, Zlamalova writes.
Jiri Leschtina says elsewhere in Hospodarske noviny that the condition that a presidential candidate needs to gather signature of 50,000 Czechs supporting his bid seems to be a good filter preventing various weirdos from running for president.
When one looks at the candidates seeking the post, it is not bad at all, Leschtina writes.
Those who do not mind a former communist can find their favourite as well as those who reject a former communist as the head of state. A wise old man as well as energetic middle-aged personalities are running for the post and two women are among the candidates, too, Leschtina says.
It is true that there is not really strong personality, but do Czechs need a charismatic star as president? he asks, adding that some experts warn that a directly elected president might form a new power centre paralysing the government.
But even if this happened could such a new president by worse than the present one? Leschtina asks, adding that Vaclav Klaus won the post thanks to negotiations between his office head Jiri Weigl and controversial lobbyist Miroslav Slouf.
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