Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Czechs Start Trying to Form New Government ; Premier's Resignation, amid Scandal, Sets off Jockeying in His Party

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Czechs Start Trying to Form New Government ; Premier's Resignation, amid Scandal, Sets off Jockeying in His Party

Article excerpt

The Czech Republic's governing party began jockeying on Monday to form a new government after Prime Minister Petr Necas resigned over an espionage and bribery scandal that has shaken the country and plunged it into political uncertainty.

The Czech Republic's governing party began jockeying on Monday to form a new government after Prime Minister Petr Necas resigned over an espionage and bribery scandal that has shaken the country and plunged it into political uncertainty.

The resignation came just days after an organized crime unit began the most extensive anti-corruption operation since the fall of Communism, in 1989. During nationwide raids, officers wearing black masks arrested several officials with links to Mr. Necas and seized $8 million in cash, documents and gold.

Mr. Necas had come under pressure to resign after his chief of staff, Jana Nagyova, was charged on Friday with abuse of power and bribery. Prosecutors and the police said she had ordered the intelligence services to spy on three people, including Mr. Necas's wife, whom he is divorcing. The police said they were shocked when wiretaps of Ms. Nagyova's telephone showed that she had used the secret services for personal motives. Ms. Nagyov, saying she had acted in good faith, has denied some of the allegations through her lawyer, according to the Czech news media.

The current and former heads of military intelligence, two former members of Parliament from Mr. Necas's center-right party, the Civic Democrats, and a former minister were also arrested in the raids. Law enforcement officials said Ms. Nagyova, a confidante of Mr. Necas, was also suspected of bribing the three former members of Parliament with offers of posts in state-owned companies in return for giving up their parliamentary seats. The three had been rebelling against a government austerity package.

Mr. Necas said he had done nothing wrong and vehemently denied having any knowledge of the illegal surveillance operation. On Monday, he said he was leaving politics and would not seek re- election.

On Sunday, he indicated that the ensnaring of a close aide in the scandal had made it untenable for him to remain in his post. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.