Monday, 21 August 2017

PM's resignation is government resignation, judge says

ČTK |
19 June 2017

Prague, June 18 (CTK) - Resignation of a prime minister clearly means the resignation of the whole government, the chairman of the Czech Constitutional Court (US), Pavel Rychetsky, told Czech Television today, taking issue with the interpretation of the question by President Milos Zeman.

In May, when Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said he would resign, Zeman argued that this actually only meant the resignation of Sobotka, not of the whole government.

"The resignation of the prime minister means the resignation of the whole government. There is a consensus on this of both the political and academic scenes," Rychetsky said.

"There is no doubt about it," he added.

If Zeman had turned to the US with a request for explanation whether the prime minister's resignation might only mean his own departure a month ago, the decision would have been rapid and clear, Rychetsky said.

In May, Sobotka said he would resign over the unclear financial affairs of former finance minister Andrej Babis (ANO).

Referring to the position drafted by a lawyer, Zeman indicated that he would only accept the resignation of Sobotka himself, not of the whole government.

For this purpose, he had even arranged a meeting with Sobotka at the Presidential Office.

Due to Zeman's decision, Sobotka withdrew the planned resignation. Instead, he only proposed to sack Babis, who is denoted as Zeman's ally.

Zeman was then dragging his feet for several weeks, preferring trips to regions and China.

Rychetsky said it was not necessary to amend the constitution over the question, although this had been proposed by the government in connection with a change in the president's powers and his relations to the government and parliament.

pv/dr

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