>Czech Republic: a minority government somewhere over the rainbow?

>Hands of political poker continue to be played in Prague. Embattled ODS leader Miroslav Topolánek has now shifted position telling an interviewer that a single party ODS coalition supported (or at least ‘tolerated’) by all non-communist parties is now an option (MfD 29 July).This comes very close to the ‘semi-political’ ODS-led minority government the Social Democrats (ČSSD) are proposing, although they want a formal support agreement only with themselves – ČSSD’s key strategic goal has been to detach ODS from its smaller allies (the Christian Democrats and Greens) making for a weaker, more controllable minority government and in the longer terms the prospect that some support from the two minor parties (both internally divided) may come the Social Democrats’ way.

Topolánek defined the worst options as (in order) 1. a minority Social Democrat government supported by the Communists; 2. a minority ODS government with ‘rainbow’ support; and 3. a interim caretaker government leading to early elections. Many in ODS, however, may prefer option 3 to option 2.

Difficult to avoid the impression that ODS is progressively shifting to accommodate the Social Democrats – in his MfD interview Topolánek pointedly remarks in passing that “Václav Klaus knows that no else in ODS has a mandate to agree to form a government” suggesting that the President would dearly love to bypass him (which constitutionally he could do – there is no requirement to pick a party leader or even an MP). The ODS congress, he added, would not talk place before the forthcoming Senate elections

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