Czech Republic. It was a politically dramatic year when
the government fell and the outgoing president was
threatened by trial.
Countryaah, the country's disputed President Václav Klaus initiated a
controversial decision when he pardoned about 7,000
prisoners at the New Year. The amnesty also halted a number
of old cases of financial crime from the time when Klaus was
prime minister in the 1990s.
New elections for the presidential post were held in
January, when former Socialist former Prime Minister Miloš
Zeman and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg from
Conservative TOP 09 were the leading candidates. Zeman and
Schwarzenberg got about a quarter of the votes in the first
round and went on to a decisive round, where Zeman won by
about 55% of the votes against 45% for Schwarzenberg.
Before Zeman took office in March, the Senate voted in
favor of a proposal that outgoing President Klaus be put on
trial for treason. The Constitutional Court would review his
decision on amnesty and his earlier attempts to delay the
EU's Lisbon Treaty. However, the Court stated that there was
no legal basis for bringing Klaus to trial.
In June, the government was in deep crisis when police
seized a row of Prime Minister Petr Neča's employees
suspected of corruption. One of the arrested was Jana
Nagyová, who was not only Neča's chief of staff but also his
mistress. She is suspected of having ordered the
intelligence service to monitor, among other things. Nečas
wife. The head of the military intelligence service was also
arrested and acknowledged the illegal surveillance.
Prime Minister Nečas denied knowledge of the scandal, but
he lost the support of his coalition partners and was forced
to resign. The Social Democratic opposition demanded new
elections, but Parliament voted against a proposal to
dissolve the House.
The new President Miloš Zeman commissioned his party
friend, the Social Democrat and former Finance Minister
Ji˘ri Rusnok to form a new government with trade ministers.
It became a short-lived minister, who took office in August
and was voted out of parliament in a vote of confidence in
When the government resigned, the lower house voted to
dissolve itself, and President Zeman announced new elections
for October. His social democrats had a head start in public
opinion and led clearly in investigations, followed by the
Bohemian and Moravian Communist Party, which drew voters
affected by cuts in the wake of the financial crisis. At the
same time, there was an intense debate in the electoral
movement about the oppression of the communist era.
Another party that attracted support for its criticism of
austerity and corruption was ANO, an abbreviation for
Disgruntled Citizens' Action. The party was led by a
multimillionaire and entrepreneur.
The October election became a big victory for
dissatisfied voters. Petr Neča's anti-corruption Democratic
National Party (ODS) shrank from 53 to 16 seats in the
Chamber of Deputies. The Social Democrats became the largest
with 50 seats, despite the party going back. The winner of
the election was ANO, who stormed into Parliament with 47
seats. The Communists received 33 seats, followed by TOP 09
Government formation became difficult and prolonged.
President Zeman wanted to give the government assignment to
his party boyfriend Bohuslav Sobotka, but this was contested
in his own party after the Social Democrats' poor election
results. Sobotka managed to ward off an attempt to dismiss
him as party leader, but his authority was questioned.
During the year, a number of right-wing demonstrations
against Roma took place. In August, hundreds of protesters
arrested in a number of cities. With the help of tear gas,
the police stopped a group that threw stones and tried to
get into a Roman area in Ostrava. Similar violence with
police intervention occurred in Prague in September, when
neo-Nazis for hundreds took action against a Roman