Thursday, 17 April 2014

Euro: Former PM Topolánek considering leaving ODS

4 December 2012

Prague, Dec 3 (CTK) - Mirek Topolanek, former Czech prime minister (in office 2006-2009) and former Civic Democrats (ODS) chairman, will probably leave the senior government ODS, it ensues from his interview for the weekly Euro published Monday.

"I am afraid that my willingness to pay further membership fees next March and thereby to demonstrate the continuation of my membership is almost zero," Topolanek told Euro.

At the recent ODS national congress, he warned that the ODS was becoming a minor party and he said it must pull together. He added that the party's main task was to restore its trustworthiness.

It would be awkward to sink one's own government, Topolanek said, hinting at a group of ODS deputies who rejected the government stabilisation package and could cause the government's fall since PM and ODS chairman Petr Necas connected the repeated vote on the legislation with a vote of confidence in his cabinet.

However, the rebels at the end gave up their deputy's mandates and enabled the government to pass the package and continue.

Topolanek told Euro that the congress ended as he expected: without a fundamental change and without the establishment of a crisis management that would solve the situation and convoke a regular congress reflecting the real opinions of ODS members.

Topolanek, 56, entered the ODS in 1994 and in November 2002 he replaced Vaclav Klaus, the current president, at the party's helm. Topolanek resigned as ODS chairman before the mid-2010 general election under the pressure of his fellow party members. He was replaced by Necas.

At present Topolanek chairs the Czech Association of Heating Plants and he occupies the post of head of the Opatovice power plant's supervisory board. He is also director of the VAE Controls Group company focused on energy industry and infrastructure.

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