Czech Republic: Government survives fourth confidence vote in less than two years
July 18, 2012
On 18 July, the Czech centre-right coalition government won another vote of confidence in the 200-seat lower house of parliament, the fourth since taking power in 2010. The no-confidence motion, which was called by the opposition Social Democratic party, fell 12 votes short of the 101 needed to dismiss the government. The vote was held amid corruption allegations surrounding Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, after investigators of a military procurement deal concluded that the transaction was overpriced. The government had already survived another confidence vote only three months ago, after the three-party coalition, composed of the right-wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09 Party (TOP 09), and the Public Affairs Party (VV) decided to terminate their partnership. Although the country has again avoided a crisis of governance, the government now commands a slim majority in parliament, relying on votes by VV's rebel faction. Against this backdrop, analysts suggest that support for the government remains fragile and opposition to further austerity measures is rising, even among deputies from the ruling coalition, jeopardising the implementation of the budget cuts.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist