published: 04.03.2013, 17:34 | updated: 04.03.2013 17:41:11
Prague - The Czech Senate´s vote impeaching President Vaclav Klaus amounts to an attack on the Czech Republic´s reputation, which was motivated by personal intolerance, Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said in reaction to the vote today.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) said the Senate´s decision today that high treason charges against Klaus be lodged with the Constitutional Court (US) is not a reasonable step.
"I think it is not a reasonable step. The president is a state institution, who should be impeached based on really very serious reasons," Schwarzenberg said.
Necas said the impeachment vote is "an expression of human thirst of revenge and it harms our country. It is not an attack on the president only, it is an attack on our country´s reputation abroad. It is motivated by nothing but personal intolerance," Necas told journalists.
The Senate, the upper house of parliament dominated by the leftist opposition, passed the impeachment proposal by the votes of 38 of 68 senators present. A high treason complaint against Klaus, mentioning his controversial New Year amnesty and his reluctance to sign treaties and appoint judges, will be now lodged with the US.
Schwarzenberg said Klaus´s New Year amnesty may have been unreasonable but still he does not consider it a high treason.
"At worst, it may have been abuse [by Klaus] of his official position," Schwarzenberg said.
Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake (LIDEM) said today´s impeachment vote was a stupid gesture of the opposition-dominated Senate, which makes the Czech Republic ridiculous.
Peake said the treason charges solve nothing. Klaus cannot be unseated because his presidential term ends on Thursday.
"The amnesty will remain untouched by this decision," Peake said.
The only way to prevent similar situations is proposing that the president´s right to declare amnesty be scrapped, Peake said, adding that she plans to submit the proposal.
In the past weeks, mainly the Article 2 of Klaus's amnesty came under sharp criticism of politicians, experts and the public for halting the proceedings in some high-profile corruption and financial crime cases.
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