Czech Greens insist on departure of Christian Democrat leader
The Czech Greens still insist on the departure of Deputy Prime Minister and Local Development Minister Jiri Cunek (the Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) from the government, Greens leader Martin Bursik told journalists today.
If Cunek does not leave the government in his own right or if he is not dismissed by the KDU-CSL, it should be done by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek (the Civic Democratic Party, ODS), Bursik said, adding that he would propose to Topolanek that coalition talks be held to discuss the issue.
Bursik said that this was no ultimatum to the effect that if Cunek does not leave the government, the Greens would withdraw from the government.
"We are demanding a clear party agreement on Cunek's resignation or dismissal," Bursik said.
Cunek has been exposed to corruption allegations and criticism over what some call racist rhetoric about Romanies.
Bursik said that the Greens would ask Topolanek to provide the guarantees that Cunek would no longer speak about the Romany issue and would not interfere in the agenda of Minister Dzamila Stehlikova (Greens) who is in charge of ethnic minorities.
Topolanek told the paper Pravo today that Cunek should leave the government.
"If I want to keep this coalition, I must thoroughly fulfil the role of the one who puts it together. This means negotiating an honorably departure for Cunek," Topolanek said.
"There is a very serious conversation ahead of me and Cunek in which I will try to convince him to leave the government. There should be the guarantees from me and his own party that if the investigation of the affair is successful for him, he may return to his post," Topolanek said.
Cunek has been accused of having taken a half-million-crowns bribe in 2002 when he was the mayor of Vsetin, North Moravia. He pleads innocent and he has refused to step down from the government posts.
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