Toplanek Drops A-Bomb, Court Backs Candidates Political Innovations

Prague, Jan 4 (CTK) – Former PM Mirek Topolanek can do nothing but provoke in his campaign closely before the presidential election as he is no favourite, though his questioning Cezch President Milos Zeman’s health is a rightful argument, Martin Zverina writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Topolanek “dropped an atomic bomb” on Wednesday saying Zeman, who seeks re-election, would not be able to fully execute another five-year mandate due to his poor health, Zverina writes.


He admits that anyone who has been observing Zeman a bit carefully must be thinking about his health condition.


However, Zverina adds, Topolanek entered the presidential battle too late and he is just another of “billionaires’ irons in the fire.” Besides, he is not doing well in the campaign. Consequently, he can only try to provoke voters.


It is true that such behaviour is neither tasteful nor dignified. On the other hand, Zeman’s conduct before the presidential election five years ago was not like that either, but hardly anybody reminds the winners of their past lapses.


“We are on the level of Topolanek now. In nine days, this may retroactively look like an innocent idyll,” Zverina writes in conclusion.


All nine candidates can run for Czech president eventually, but the objection to the candidacy of five of them has revealed a serious problem that should be redressed next time, Josef Koukal writes in Pravo today.


He comments on the Constitutional Court’s verdict rejecting a complaint by Terezie Holovska who was questioning five of the candidates since some of deputies and senators who had signed their bids had supported more candidates.


One might think that such a rule is based on common sense, but in the Czech Republic a judicial body, or best all court levels, must deal with any detail.


The mere possibility to avoid the condition of collecting at least 50,000 citizens’ signatures on a presidential bid by gaining support of several lawmakers is a relic of the past indirect election, Koukal says.


In other countries, no matter whether the head of state is elected directly or indirectly, some things are taken for granted. A politician is running personally and leading a real campaign before the election and all candidates are given the same space, Koukal points out.


However, voters in the Czech Republic can witness “political innovations” instead of a regular election fight, Koukal adds.


Investments are more important than a balanced state budget, Jan Klesla writes elsewhere in Lidove noviny (LN) today.


A society living with a certain deficit does not declare any profit, but its proceeds, economic performance, indebtedness level and investments in the future play a more important role for its health and prosperity, he says.


The Czech economy is thriving now in terms of revenues, but its growth is likely to slow down in the years to come. Moreover, the country is too much dependent on European subsidies, the source of which will start drying up.


However, “the Czech state-firm” deserved criticism mainly for stagnating investments, Klesla points out, hinting at current PM and billionaire businessman Andrej Babis’s words that he would like to manage the state like a firm.


“The board of directors of our state-firm, or the government in the old-fashioned way, should first present its particular investment plan with clear priorities and commitments to its supervisory board, or parliament… To avoid the necessity to convoke an extraordinary general meeting known as (early) elections,” Klesla writes in conclusion.