>Czech Republic: more political cat ‘n’ mouse

>A later edition of today’s LN shows a dispirited looking troika of Green and right-wing leaders presenting their latest counter offer in the agonising cat-and-mouse game of trying to agree a Czech government of some kind: so far they seem to be the mice. They would like to take office as temporary minority government to lead the Czech Republic for a year to ensure a budget is passed and agreements with the EU about structural funds are signed on time and then have early elections with a reformed electoral system f Here the ideas they are reportedly floating are: an odd number of deputies so they cannot be a 100: 100 split again; an Italian style bonus for the winning side to produce a clear majority and to quote Topolánek ‘a more proportional system’ although quite how the latter would lead to a majority government, I don’t know.

The Social Democrats still intransigently refused to have anything to do with the three party bloc, Paroubek coming up (reports MfD) with the throwaway racist line that negotiating through press conference may be the way they do things in Botswana (why Botswana?), but not in Prague. Nice to know he has such high democratic standards, but as Botswana – despite being one of Africa’s more successful democracies historically – has a dominant party system now verging on Russian style illiberal democracy, carefully crafted government-opposition negotiations about power sharing (by media or otherwise) are not , I suspect, not a prominent feature of that country’s politics…

To return to check politics, the Social Democrats were not keen on early elections or electoral reform – pointing out, not unreasonably, that we have been there and done that all before in 1999-2001. They are willing to talk about it. Next week they will meet for the sixth (!) time to try and elect a parliamentary speaker and at least get the lower house of parliament in session.

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