The Czech government has six days to solve its internal crisis. If the three-party coalition does not reach an agreement by Tuesday 10 April, the government will resign and snap elections will be held – probably on 22 and 23 June.
The ultimatum was announced by PM Petr Nečas, who is also the chairman of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the largest government party.
According PM Nečas, any agreement between the government parties should also include the necessary steps to cut the Czech deficit to less than 3 percent of GDP by 2013.
TOP 09, the second largest government party, supports the PM’s plan, which is probably the last chance to save the government.
The crisis erupted when Public Affairs, the smallest government party, threatened to leave the government. The party is prepared to stay only if the government meets certain conditions. Among other things the party wants the government to abolish three ministries and change its policy statement.
PM Nečas reacted by saying that he would not submit to “blackmail”.
Public Affairs has three ministers in the government – Education Minister Pavel Dobeš, Deputy PM Karolína Peake, and Regional Development Minister Kamil Jankovský. The party’s leadership asked them to resign immediately, but the three ministers has not obeyed yet, allegedly waiting to see how the situation develops.
The government crisis has produced an open rebellion inside Public Affairs. Currently, all three government parties are engaged in intensive talks, and all of them admit that snap elections are one of the possible outcomes.
This possibility was also admitted by Czech President Václav Klaus. PM Nečas spoke about this scenario with the chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Party, Bohuslav Sobotka.