- Title: CZECH REPUBLIC: Prime Minister Petr Necas steps down after graft scandal
- Date: 16th June 2013
- Summary: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (JUNE 16, 2013) (REUTERS) GOVERNMENT BUILDING IN PRAGUE GOVERNMENT SIGN CAR APPROACHING PARLIAMENT MEMBER LEAVING CAR AND WALKING PAST JOURNALISTS CAMERAMEN CAR PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN MIROSLAVA NEMCOVA WITH COLLEAGUES ARRIVING REFUSING TO QUESTIONS JOURNALISTS IN THE FRONT OF GOVERNMENT BUILDING CIVIC DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEWS CONFERENCE WITH PRIME MINISTER PETR NECAS (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) CZECH PRIME MINISTER, PETR NECAS, SAYING: "I was very attentively following the development of the political situation which started here last Wednesday and I know well what consequences this has for me. That's why I announced to the Civic Democratic Party gremium (top management) and also to our coalition party partners that tomorrow I will step down from the role prime minister. I would like to stress that I know about my political responsibility and I am facing the consequences." CZECH INDUSTRY AND TRADE MINISTER MARTIN KUBA CAMERAMAN (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) CZECH PRIME MINISTER, PETR NECAS, SAYING: "It is obvious that as I will not be going on in my role as prime minister, I will also leave my position as Civic Democratic Party chairman." PHOTOGRAPHER PRIME MINISTER PETR NECAS WITH COLLEAGUES LEAVING
- Embargoed: 1st July 2013 13:00
- Location: Czech Republic
- Country: Czech Republic
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAE9DTU7A0O4WES2QSSHBWGMAUV
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas was forced to quit on Sunday (June 16) by a graft and spying scandal involving his closest aide, pitching the European Union member state into a period of uncertainty over who would form the next government.
Under the Czech constitution, the whole government will now have to step down, and there is likely to be horse-trading between the governing coalition, the opposition and the president before a replacement is in place.
Necas quit days after prosecutors charged the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, with bribing members of parliament and ordering intelligence agents to spy on people. One of the surveillance targets, according to lawyers involved in the case, was the prime minister's own wife, whom he is divorcing.
Necas has said he knew nothing about the surveillance, but the charges were so toxic that his coalition partners signalled they could no longer support him.
"Tomorrow I will step down from the role prime minister. I would like to stress that I know about my political responsibility and I am facing the consequences," Necas told a news conference after a meeting of his Civic Democrat party.
He said his party would try to form a new government, led by a different person, to rule until a scheduled election next year. However, it was unclear if his coalition partners or the president Milos Zeman, would back that.
Two decades ago, Czech dissident Vaclav Havel led a "Velvet Revolution" that overthrew Communist rule and turned his country into a beacon of liberty. But in the years since then, the Czech Republic has been mired in official corruption.
Necas and his administration will stay on as caretakers until a new government is installed. President Milos Zeman will have an important say in who takes over. If after three attempts there is no viable government, or the parliament agrees to dissolve itself, an early election will be held.
A lawyer for Nagyova, now in custody, says she denies some of the allegations against her, while on others she argues that she acted in good faith.
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