published: 26.05.2013, 18:17 | updated: 26.05.2013 18:30:00
Prague - The Prague Social Democrats (CSSD) "almost absolutely" rule out forming a city coalition government with the conservative TOP 09 now that TOP 09´s previous coalition partner, the Civic Democrats (ODS), has ended in opposition, Prague CSSD head Miroslav Poche said today.
TOP 09, the strongest party in the City Assembly, says it wants to conduct parallel negotiations with the ODS and the CSSD on forming a new City Council.
"I´m convinced that the game played by Prime Minister Petr Necas (ODS head) and city assemblyman Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) about a nascent TOP 09-CSSD coalition is nothing but a game. I think the CSSD is not ready to join a city coalition government now that the general and local elections are one year and one and a half year ahead, respectively," Poche said in a televised discussion.
Nevertheless, he said the CSSD is going to submit a list of conditions for TOP 09 to meet in exchange for the CSSD´s toleration of its minority government in Prague.
The conditions include the promise not to raise public transport fare and water supply prices.
The CSSD also wants the "foolish" plan to transfer state hospitals´ ownership to the City of Prague to be swept off the table along with a controversial idea of dividing election wards in Prague, Poche said.
Tomas Hudecek, TOP 09´s acting mayor, said TOP 09´s support to these demands is feasible on the general level, though certain details would have to be discussed yet.
Hudecek said he expects the City Assembly to elect a new City Council (government) on June 6, by when, he believes, TOP 09 will reach agreement with either the ODS or the CSSD.
Earlier this week, TOP 09 withdrew from the TOP 09-ODS coalition and had Svoboda unseated as mayor, with the help of the opposition CSSD, citing long-lasting discords with the ODS that paralysed the City Council´s work.
Some ODS councillors were dismissed from the city government and the rest resigned. The ODS switched to opposition after 22 years.
Only TOP 09 representatives remain in the City Council now.
TOP 09, the ODS and the CSSD have 26, 20 and 14 seats in the 63-seat City Assembly, respectively. The remaining three seats are held by the Communists.
On Friday, CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka said joining a ruling coalition Prague is not the CSSD´s priority, which Poche confirmed today.
On Saturday, the ODS set reinstatement of Svoboda as mayor as its condition for striking a new deal with TOP 09, which TOP 09 called unacceptable.
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