Thursday, 24 April 2014

Poll: Public trust in president Klaus record low

6 February 2013

Prague, Feb 5 (CTK) - Only 26 percent of Czechs trusted outgoing President Vaclav Klaus in January, which has been the lowest figure since 2003 when he became head of state, according to a CVVM poll released to CTK Tuesday.

Trust in Klaus has decreased by 27 percentage points since December 2012.

The CVVM poll was conducted on some 1000 people over 15 on January 14-21.

Klaus, whose second and last five-year term in office expires on March 7, announced the presidential amnesty in his last New Year's address.

The amnesty, declared on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Czech Republic, applies to convicts with low suspended or prison sentences and elderly convicts.

It also halts criminal proceedings if they have lasted for more than eight years, and if the maximum prison sentence that can be imposed in such cases does not exceed ten years.

Especially this provision was sharply criticised.

It namely applies to some big financial crime cases in the agenda od the High State Attorney's Office.

According to the Prague City Court's proposal, the whole amnesty is at variance with the constitution if the government did not discuss it beforehand.

Prime Minister Petr Necas was criticised for countersigning the amnesty without consulting it with the government.

The Constitutional Court is also to deal with the issue. However, most experts agree that a complaint against the amnesty has no chance to succeed.

Klaus has repeatedly rejected the criticism of his amnesty.

"It is a campaign against me, against the values I represent and follow and that I have been pushing for in politics for over 20 years," Klaus said at the beginning of January.

The CVVM poll did not only focus on the president but also on public trust in other institutions: the government, the lower and upper houses of parliament (the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate), regional and municipal authorities as well as mayors and governors.

Unlike the steep decline in confidence in Klaus, the pollsters did not register any significant changes in people's trust in the other institutions.

Czechs still consider municipal authorities and mayors the most trustworthy. They are trusted by 58 percent of the polled.

The government and the Chamber of Deputies are traditionally the least trusted since only 12 percent trust the government and public confidence in the Chamber of Deputies is even 1 percent lower.

Copyright 2014 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE are not responsible for its content.