Friday, 25 April 2014

Gov't approves constructive no-confidence vote

12 April 2012

Prague, April 11 (CTK) - The Czech cabinet Wednesday approved stricter rules for proposing a motion of no confidence in the government, Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) confirmed to journalists.

"We realise that this proposal requires a constitutional majority in both houses of parliament and we proposed to intensively negotiate about it. But the Social Democratic Party (opposition CSSD) has not been willing to negotiate," Necas said.

He said his coalition government is prepared to try to meet its policy statement.

Necas said the proposal reacts to the situation in early 2009. The opposition toppled the coalition government of Mirek Topolanek (ODS) halfway through the Czech presidency of the Council of the EU and a caretaker cabinet had to rule the country then.

An amendment to the Czech constitution needs to be supported by three-fifths of the lawmakers to take effect and the Necas government can push such changes through only if at least a part of the left-wing opposition supports them in parliament.

Under the proposal of Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake (Public Affairs, VV), the new rules should enable only constructive motions of no confidence and avoid no-confidence motions to be repeatedly provoked by the political opposition.

If the opposition wants to propose a no-confidence vote, it must agree on the name of the future prime minister and have this agreement signed by at least 50 lower house deputies, according to the government's draft amendment.

If a no-confidence vote fails, the opposition may not propose a new vote sooner than after six months or when 80 deputies support its proposal.

Peake said previously the planned changes would make the government more stable.

The authors of the draft constitutional amendment say countries like Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Spain had the constructive motion of no confidence in their constitutions.

The opposition Social Democrats said they consider the changes "absolutely pointless and expedient."

CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka said his party certainly would not support these changes.

The latest attempt at toppling the Necas government was held in parliament in late March. The motion was initiated by the CSSD and 85 members of the 200-seat lower house voted against the government.

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