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Klíma, Michal

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Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | 02/12/2008

Power struggle in Prague

Czech President Václav Klaus, currently honorary chairman of the liberal-conservative ruling ODS party, has indicated that he may resign from the party and found his own anti-EU party in the event that Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek is re-elected at the party congress. The conservative daily Lidové noviny analyses Klaus's intentions: "The Czech EU Council presidency which begins in January is like a red rag for Klaus. Head of government Mirek Topolánek will chair two EU summits, his ministers dozens of special meetings. The attention of Europe and the world will be focused on them. Klaus is worried that this will bolster Topolánek and his government. This would complicate his own return to the top seat in the ODS. If the government falls, Klaus would suddenly be in the limelight once more. ... So this is not about (Klaus's calls for) the party to return to its roots, it is simply the targeted manipulation of power."

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