Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gov't survives another no-confidence vote

18 January 2013

Prague, Jan 17 (CTK) - The Czech coalition government of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) survived a fifth attempt to vote no confidence in it as expected yesterday.

The opposition initiated an extraordinary session of the Chamber of Deputies over the amnesty declared by President Vaclav Klaus and countersigned by Necas that arouses controversies.

Ninety-two lawmakers voted for no confidence while minimally 101 votes were required in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.

Ninety-seven lawmakers supported the government. The remaining 11 deputies were absent.

The no-confidence motion was voted against by the present lawmakers of the government parties, the ODS, TOP 09 and LIDEM.

They were joined by unaffiliated lawmakers Michal Doktor (Jihocesi 2012, formerly ODS), Pavel Bem (formerly ODS) and Josef Dobes (formerly Public Affairs, VV).

The vote was preceded by a debate that lasted for about nine hours.

The lawmakers did not take a vote on the proposal by CSSD deputy chairman Lubomir Zaoralek that the Chamber of Deputies express "a fundamental disagreement" with the controversial part of the amnesty that halts criminal proceedings lasting for more than eight years and carrying maximally ten years in prison.

This covers a number of big corruption and business frauds.

The deputies decided that accompanying resolutions are inadmissible in a no-confidence vote.

Necas thanked the lawmakers for having supported the government.

Petr Gazdik, TOP 09/STAN deputy group chairman, said it was hypocritical of Klaus having refused to come to the lower house of parliament in spite of the government's call made on him.

CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) criticised Necas and Justice Minister Pavel Blazek's (ODS) refusal to take over responsibility for the extent of the amnesty.

TOP 09/STAN joined the critics of the amnesty. They said Necas should not have signed it without consultation with the government.

TOP 09 chairman and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg left walked out as a sign of disagreement with the amnesty.

Some opposition lawmakers challenged the claim that the ministers did not know about the amnesty.

They said Schwarzenberg left in connection with the presidential campaign. He and former prime minister Milos Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ) are seeking the presidential post in the second round of the first direct presidential election to be held on January 25-26.

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