Babis Writes To Fiala Demanding Dismissal of Interior Minister Rakusan
Interior Minister Vit Rakusan is facing calls for his resignation over the appointment of Petr Mlejnek as head of UZSI. Credit: Vlada.cz.
Prague, Aug 18 (CTK) – Czech opposition leader Andrej Babis (ANO) wrote to Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) today calling for the dismissal of Interior Minister Vit Rakusan (STAN) over the appointment of Petr Mlejnek as head of the civilian intelligence agency (UZSI), despite Mlejnek’s links with controversial lobbyist Michal Redl.
Babis wrote that unless Fiala dismissed Rakusan, ANO would trigger a vote of no confidence in the government.
Redl is among the suspects accused in a corruption scandal involving Prague’s Public Transport Company (DPP), the so-called Dosimeter affair.
Discussing the issue on Wednesday, the cabinet found no reason to dismiss Mlejnek. Rakusan said there would only be one reason to dismiss Mlejnek, if he had not received the top secret level of security clearance. Fiala, moreover, said that the cabinet had received information that Mlejnek played a positive role in shedding light on the DPP corruption case, in which Redl along with other figures such as former Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubucek (STAN) face prosecution.
Prague High Prosecutor Lenka Bradacova, whose office is supervising the investigation of the Dosimeter case, has no information about Mlejnek’s positive role in the case, she told Denik N and Respekt late on Wednesday.
In the letter, seen by CTK, former-PM Babis wrote that he was disappointed by Fiala’s approach. “I expected someone who presents himself as ethical to support his words by deeds at critical moments. I am sorry that you gave priority to your government’s interests over the interests and security of the Czech Republic,” he wrote.
ANO says it is unacceptable for the position of interior minister, and the second highest ranking member of the government, to be filled by “a person who is not only absolutely incompetent of holding his post but who is provably connected to mafia structures.”
“I am calling upon you once again, to find the courage in yourself and dismiss Mr. Rakusan. Keeping him in the post of interior minister undermines the already weak support for your cabinet and it mainly disgraces the Czech Republic in front of our partners in the EU and abroad,” Babis wrote. “If you cannot do it, ANO will be forced to trigger a vote of no-confidence in the government,” he added.
Babis stated that the scandal over the appointment of the head of UZSI is unprecedented in the history of the Czech Republic, and requires an immediate response. That is why ANO is considering provoking a no-confidence vote even during the current Czech EU presidency, he said.
“The solution of the situation is now entirely in your hands. I believe that you will manage the situation so that the vote does not have to take place at all,” Babis concluded.
The ANO deputies’ group will meet next Thursday. Babis claims that a week is enough time for Fiala to respond.
At least 101 votes are needed in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies to topple the cabinet in a no-confidence vote. The opposition ANO and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) together have 92 seats, and the government coalition of ODS, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09, STAN and the Pirates have 108 seats.
According to the constitution, the prime minister does not dismiss ministers but proposes their dismissal to the president.
The information about regular contact between Mlejnek and Redl, the new UZSI head, was released by Seznam Zpravy last week. On Thursday, the server wrote that the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS) started investigating Mlejnek over an information leak in the Dosimeter corruption scandal at the DPP.
GIBS dismissed the information on Friday, however, stating that the organisation was not investigating Mlejnek, nor conducting any criminal proceedings that would implicate an UZSI official.
Rakusan has admitted that he already knew about Mlejnek’s link to Redl before appointing him as the head of UZSI on 8 July, but he was not concerned because it was a working relationship.
Rakusan told Czech Television on Wednesday that he was sorry about the attention paid to the secret services. He admitted that he had made a mistake in the current atmosphere by mentioning a concrete name in relation to secret service operations.
“I mentioned a name that I should not have mentioned and I apologised for that in the government,” he added.
Babis said today that Rakusan’s mistake made the secret service untrustworthy in the Czech Republic as well as abroad.https://brnodaily.cz/2022/08/18/news/politics/babis-writes-to-fiala-demanding-dismissal-of-interior-minister-rakusan/https://brnodaily.cz/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/VRP01572-1024x683.jpghttps://brnodaily.cz/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/VRP01572-150x100.jpgCzech Republic / WorldPoliticsBabis,Czech Republic,Interior Minister,Politics,RakušanInterior Minister Vit Rakusan is facing calls for his resignation over the appointment of Petr Mlejnek as head of UZSI. Credit: Vlada.cz. Prague, Aug 18 (CTK) - Czech opposition leader Andrej Babis (ANO) wrote to Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) today calling for the dismissal of Interior Minister Vit Rakusan...Czech News AgencyCzech News Agencyabstract000@hotmail.comAuthorBrno Daily