>Czech politics: Civic Democrats high in the polls, but stymied in parliament and bugged in office
>The September poll from IVVM shows – when filtered through a model, which allows for non-voters and those less sure if they would turn out – that the Civic Democrats are roaring ahead with a estimated 37 per cent of the poll (were it held tomorrow). Unfortunately for them we are still along way from early elections – although many including ex-President Václav Havel (just turned 70 – many happy returns) believe that ultimately they are inevitable.
In the real world a minority ODS government faces a confidence vote on 4 October, which it stands seemingly little chance of winning, especially as they are embroiled in a war of words with the main opposition Social Democrats over police bugging of 46 telephones lines belonging to 7 politicians and journalists (and 1 doctor) and their families and associates revealed by Tomáš Almer, head of the police’s covert surveillance department in a letter to parliamentarians. The wire taps were related to an investigation into the ‘Kubice affair’, named after the head of the Czech police’s elite task force for fighting organized crime, who claimed in May – mid-election campaign – that (then) Social Democrat PM Paroubek and other Social Democrat Ministers were inmeshed with criminal stuctures, which had subverted large chunks of Czech public administration. Unsurprisingly, Paroubek vehemently rejected the charge ). Oddly, however, the ‘Kubice affair’ exploded in May the court warrant for the eavesdropping was issued only the day the right-wing minority government took office (4 September).
This created the bizarre situation where (until the warrent was scrapped on 24 Spetember) the police were in all probability bugging their own boss , new Minister of the Interior Ivan Langer, for three weeks. Langer is widely thought to have been involved in the leaking of information from Kubice’s unit, although the identities of those bugged has not yet been revealed. (MfD 30.9.2006)
Interestingly, perhaps because they have stayed out of this mudslinging, the Greens also come out well from Septembers poll, confirming their potential as voter getters, although unlike the Christian Democrats they have no real core vote so the bulk of their support could melt away … Even more interestedly, unlike the British Greens, recently touted by radical human rights actvist Peter Tatchell, as ready-made vehicle for the socialist left, the Czech Greens are the most stalwart allies of the liberal right and having already promised their votes to Mirek Topolánek’s beleagured Civic Democrats (subject to a few minor conditions). A rather Cameroonian blue-green with echoes of a Swedish style alliance for reform e