The Governmental Crises and the trial with V. Bárta

A new round of internal contention has occurred in the coalition few months ago. The cause of the tension was initiated within the member party of the Czech government Veci veřejné (Pubic Affairs). Upon the collective decision announced 3th April 2012, the demises of its own members of the cabinet were fostered with the possible postponement until 1st May. It would mean the collapse of the current government and early election. Veci veřejné has also formulated not very concrete request for the rest of the coalition – TOP09 and ODS. As a reaction, it has initiated personal insults and provocative announcements in the media with a strong rejecting position towards the demands of the smallest governmental party which has subsequently started falling apart. The leader of the party Radek John made a statement that questioned his position in the evening of the very same day and vice-prime minister Karolina Peak and minister Dobeš refused the decision of their party next morning. Because of the Easter holiday the strength of the presented appeal was mitigated. The result is a terrible picture of the smallest party governmental party. The general discourse implies further decrease of confidence in current government.

The scandal can be characterized as another piece of evidence that reveals internal conditions in the smallest governmental party. There are visible tensions between informal structures inside the party that point out the power struggle characterized by contestation of Vít Bárta, Karolina Peka and their supporters. The position of party structures is vague, however, we can assume that Vít Bárta still holds the support of party representatives in the lower chamber of the parliament which is a stronghold of his future activity in the political arena. The power constellation provides blurred picture of chaos that defines current situation inside the party and implies the fact that Vít Bárta is capable to unify power in the short-term horizon, however, he is not able to maintain the support and to keep it on certain level. On the other hand, nobody else can succeed him. An attempt to initiate a controlled crisis that clearly failed was probably motivated by demands concerning his personnel aspirations. The result will be probably another round of internal tensions and strong pressure on change of current pattern of leadership in the party and leave of its incumbent leader Radek John.

The key role in these disputes holds the trial with Vít Bárta and former member of the parliament Jaroslav Škárka that was charged with corruption. The motivation of Vít Bárta for the initiation of the crisis is not clear, however, we can assume that it is related to his trial and charges. We can further guess that his primarily intention was to unify the key person around himself and propose personnel changes in order to maintain his own position. On the other hand his attempt to distract the attention cannot be seen as an effective decision because quick solution for initiated crises could be expected. The verdict in his case will be announced 13th April 2012.

Author: CBAP 2012