>A Czech John Prescott ?

>And spare a thought too for embattled (and majority less) Czech PM Miroslav Topolánek, whose minority government seems to have little chance of winning a vote of confidence and whose wife is leaving him after his relationship with a fellow MP overstepped the bounds of being just good friends and party colleagues. Anonymous billboards in his home region of Ostrava (see picture), where his wife is running against his party as indepedent, mock him as “A Faithful Husband and a Wise Leader”. The style of the posters echoes the negative advertising of the Social Democrats’ recent parliamentary election campaign, although they deny all knowledge and express disapproval (laughing behind their hands no doubt…).

The ODS leader is undoubtedly a weak spot for his party, rapidly become the John Prescott of Czech politics due to malapropisms, gaffes and tragic-comic infidelity, and the Social Democrats (and their supporters) know it. Social Democrat leader Paroubek, no smooth operator himself, is a cut above Topolánek and Czech right commenators pay him the compliment of viscerally hating him.

The latest polls show ODS in a position now to form a majority government if there were an election tomorrow, but short of a constitutional law (which the Social Democrats would never support), we would need three failed votes of confidence in three proposed governments and we have not got to Attempt 1 yet (scheduled for 4 October), when Topolánek’s semi-technocratic government faces parliament

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