Political parties swayed by a large corruption scandal a few days before the EU Presidency

A large police crackdown on Wednesday 15 June arrested 10 people accused of being part of an organized crime group involved in a long-term corruption program related to the Prague Public Transit Co., Ltd. (DPP). .. Among them were Petr Hlubuček, who is now the mayor of Prague City Hall and a councilor of the Independent Party, several senior officials within the DPP, and Michal Redl, a businessman and lobbyist who is allegedly central to criminal planning. rice field.

The result of police crackdowns has shaken the political situation in the Czech Republic, as the mayor and independents are not only represented by the Prague governing body, but also the second largest party in the Petrfiara cabinet.

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Petr Gazdík | Photo: Michal Krumphanzl, ČTK
Petr Gazdík | Photo: Michal Krumphanzl, ČTK<!–

On Sunday, Education Minister Petr Gazdik, one of the party’s founders, announced his resignation due to his relationship with Mr. Redr, who has long received media attention as an individual with a shaded history.

“I have decided to resign from the Minister of Education on June 30. In principle, I am not guilty of violating the law, but the talks with some people also cast a shadow over the alliance between the pirates and the mayor. I don’t want to cause problems for the government or coalition just days before the inauguration of our EU presidency. “

Although not under investigation, Gazdík reportedly met Redl several times and communicated with him via an encrypted message.

Talking to TV Prima on Sunday, Prime Minister Petrfiara defended the minister, saying Mr Gazdik’s move is a sign of a new approach by the current government on how to respond to allegations of corruption related to power.

“I commend the minister’s decision. Based on publicly available information, the minister has not been investigated by police and has not been charged with committing a crime, but he holds political responsibility. I guess. This is an example of a new style of politics that we are trying to support. “

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Tomio Okamura | Photo: Vít Šimánek, ČTK
Tomio Okamura | Photo: Vít Šimánek, ČTK<!–

But this was not a comfort to the opposition. Tomio Okamura, leader of Freedom and Direct Democracy, said “Put your head into the sand” Instead of excluding the mayor and the entire Independence Party from the government.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the leader of the strongest opposition group in the House of Representatives, pointed out the fact that the current interior minister, Vit Lakshan, is also the mayor and chair of the independent faction, and he is responsible for internal security services. Position.

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Vít Rakušan | Photo: Office of Czech Government
Vít Rakušan | Photo: Czech Government Office<!–

“Mayors and independents are organized crime, I said it repeatedly. It’s surprising because I think everyone knows they went into politics to steal money for themselves. There is none.”

Faced with the words of ANO leaders on Czech television on Sunday, Mr. Lakshan felt insulted by the accusations and pointed out that Mr. Babiš himself was a defendant in the EU subsidy fraud case. He also said that arrests made against members of his own party while he was in charge of ministries showed that he would not interfere with police work, and of his own resignation. I denied the plan.

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Michal Redl | Photo: Michaela Říhová, ČTK
Michal Redl | Photo: MichaelaŘíhová, ČTK<!–

“I haven’t taken that into account. I have nothing to do with this case and can be seen from police documents published so far. I have Mr. Redl in my life. I’ve never seen him, and I haven’t even contacted him by phone … I can’t believe what Mr. Babiš is telling himself. “

The mayor and independents have taken full advantage of the ANO party’s own checked history in dealing with allegations of corruption, but this defense is insufficient to save the party’s public relations image as an example of good corruption-free governance. You may find that. Political parties swayed by a large corruption scandal a few days before the EU Presidency

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