Czech PM Necas to resign following corruption row

Written by on June 17, 2013 in Europe - No comments

Czech prime minister Petr Necas said he would resign as prime minister and leader of the ruling Civic Democrats party on June 17, local media reported.

The resignation comes only days after prosecutors indicted seven people, including Necas’s chief of staff, Jana Nagyova, on charges ranging from abuse of power to bribery and money laundering.

Necas, who initially said he would not step down, announced his intention to resign late on June 16. He met with president Milos Zeman on June 17 and was expected to formally submit his resignation in the evening, Czech news agency CTK reported.

The prime minister’s resignation automatically triggers the fall of his government. Left-wing opposition parties have called for early elections, but Necas’s Civic Democrats and their coalition partners, TOP 09, were in talks to nominate a new prime minister, Radio Prague said. The next scheduled elections in the Czech Republic are in spring 2014.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Civic Democrats executive board, Necas said that he hoped that the government would continue under a prime minister nominated by his party.

Concerning his own role, he said: “I am fully aware of the problems of my personal life burdening the political scene and the [Civic Democrats] … I am aware of the consequences for me. I want to stress that I am aware of my political responsibility. I draw the conclusions from it.”

Necas’s chief of staff Nagyova, as well as the current and former heads of the military counter-intelligence service, have been charged with abuse of power. The service is alleged to have had Necas’s wife – whom Necas recently said he planned to divorce – shadowed on Nagyova’s order.

Local tabloids have speculated about Necas’s relationship with Nagyova for months, but the police were still investigating whether Necas knew about Nagyova’s alleged actions, CTK reported.

Separately, two former MPs for Necas’s Civic Democrats party were charged with bribery and money laundering, with Nagyova alleged to have offered them lucrative posts in state-owned companies in exchange for leaving parliament.

(Petr Necas photo by government of the Czech Republic press service)

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