Prague, May 26 (CTK) – Czech ANO once again sided with the SPD and the Communists (KSCM) this week to have the Novichok issue withdrawn from the lower house agenda, outvoting its potential government partner, the Social Democrats (CSSD), who criticised it but in fact it was them who voted wrongly, Jan Keller writes in Pravo today.
The case of the early March poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain is so opaque that no one is sure of anything. It is only sure that the only body in Europe that wants to discuss affairs linked to the Skripal case is the Czech Chamber of Deputies, writes Keller, a commentator and a CSSD MEP.
He mentions parties’ reactions to President Milos Zeman’s televised statement, based on a military intelligence service report, that Novichok, the nerve-paralysing substance used to attack Skripal, was produced in the Czech Republic in the past.
Some parties in parliament want to use Zeman’s assertion, which the government, parliamentary bodies and experts immediately dismissed, to accuse him of having lied and also of having leaked a state secret, Keller writes, referring to the plan proposed by the Mayors and Independents (STAN) and supported by the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and TOP 09.
Let’s put aside the pointless nature of the double accusation. If Zeman really leaked a state secret, he could not have lied. If he lied, he could not have leaked a state secret, Keller writes.
This logic, nevertheless, evidently does not disturb Zeman’s opponents among the lawmakers in their efforts, he says.
Earlier this week, deputies for the ANO movement voted jointly with the KSCM and the anti-EU SPD (Freedom and Direct Democracy) on withdrawing a debate on the Novichok case and Zeman’s comments on it from the agenda of the lower house session. They outvoted the parties seeking the debate, including the CSSD, Keller writes.
Once again, voices were heard that in a nascent coalition government with ANO, the CSSD will be a mere decoration while ANO will be deciding on important issues together with the KSCM and the SPD, Keller writes.
Surprisingly, no one asked whether the ANO-SPD-KSCM ad hoc alliance voted correctly or wrongly against Novichok on the agenda, a question that is quite substantiated, Keller writes.
Are the attacks on Zeman over his Novichok statements somehow connected with the CSSD’s programme goals? They do not seem to be. In spite of this, the CSSD deputies, except for Jaroslav Foldyna, did their utmost to have the Novichok case preserved as a point on the lower house agenda, Keller writes.
The CSSD thus seems to prefer being wrong together with TOP 09 chairman and Zeman’s staunch critic Miroslav Kalousek to being right together with Babis, the ANO leader and the probable next PM Andrej Babis. With which of the two politicians does the CSSD actually want to form a coalition government? Keller asks.
As for the Skripal case, since which almost three months have elapsed, no one has made an explanation that would look a little bit trustworthy at least. Various sides have come up with many different versions that may produce a thrilling detective novel – with an open end, unfortunately, Keller writes.
Quite different games have been launched in the meantime, and the truth about the mysterious Skripal case seems not to raise much interest any more, Keller concludes.