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Czech Republic In Turmoil Over Corruption Scandal

Published: June 14, 2013; 18:04 · (Vindobona)

The Czech Republic’s political landscape is in turmoil due to the scandal. The investigations have begun on Thurday with country-wide raids. More and more bizarre details seem to appear.

Czech Republic In Turmoil Over Corruption Scandal / Picture: © Vindobona.org

It was not exactly clear at first who had been charged or what the charges were. Transparency International, a non-governmental organization, has described the raids as a crackdown on corruption. In the meantime, the scandal is not only about a net of corruption and contacts to the organized crime, which particularly the conservative ruling party ODS is woven into. Even the recently announced divorce of Prime Minister Petr Necas and his wife after 25 years of marriage might have something to do with the scandals. Obviously she was shadowed illegitimately.

Czech police have accused Ondrej Palenik, former military counter-intelligence head, his successor Milan Kovanda and other MZ members of shadowing Prime Minister Necas's wife commanded by head of his office Jana Nagyova, who has been arrested already, Palenik's lawyer Tomas Sokol told Czech news agency CTK today. In total, seven persons were arrested, according to the attorney.

Necas recently announced that he and his wife Radka Necasova had been living seperately since January. At that point at the latest, there were rumors in Czech tabloids that Nagyova and Necas were more than just work colleagues.

However, the focus of the police investigations, which have started in the night from Wednesday to Thursday, lies still on the accusations of corruption. Detectives from the police Squad for Uncovering Organised Crime (UOOZ) made a sweep at the Government Office, the Defence Ministry, the Prague City Hall and a number of other places on Thursday. The Czech police have only disclosed few informations and details so far.

Necas, who disappeared on Thursay several hours until he finally made an official statement in the late afternoon, rejects the calls for his resignation: "I am personally convinced that I did not do anything dishonest and that my colleagues have not done anything dishonest either. Therefore I do not have any reason to consider a resignation and, thus, the fall of the government."

According to the prosecution of Olomouc, former members of parliament are suspected of having resigned their seats in return for financial benefits. This might refer to former ODS top-level politicians Petr Tluchor and Ivan Fuska, who have positioned themselves as ambitious ODS-intern rebels and given Necas a hard time until the end of 2012. Then they became silent all of a sudden and reappeared at the highly remunerative top of state enterprises shortly after.

The situation for Necas and his ODS party is becoming more and more inescapable. The coalition partner TOP 09, which has remained unmoved – as has the opposition – on Thursday, has distanced itself from Necas. Apparently the opposition only needed a day to recover from the shock, and filed a motion of no confidence which is supposed to be followed by early elections.

The center of government was ordered at the Prague Castle by President Milos Zeman in the afternoon. Shortly after that, an extraordinary session of the ODS party's presidium was summoned.

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