Last weekend’s presidential elections (see two posts below) was unique in one way that I have not mentioned yet. All news stations and dailies could not help to slightly comment or insert slightly biased adjectives: words like ridiculous, awkward, inappropriate… were the most frequent ones, tabloid dailies did not hesitate to be even tougher.
I think that the media should be forgiven for violating the number-one rule of news reporting. Simply because all 281 legislators violated the number one rule that make humans human, and all rules that make lawmakers the representatives of normal people in the Parliament.
Opposition Social Democrats accused the senior governing Civic Democrats of pressuring one of the MP’s who later collapsed. So what? This whole election was affected by lobbying the whole time.
The third round of the first vote took place today. President Vaclav Klaus got 139 votes, he needed 140 to win the elections. Three legislators were absent today, all of them due to medical conditions. One MP for Social Democrats is said to have collapsed after some tough negotiations with the governing Civic Democrats (ODS). The ODS party denied any involvement and said that this accusation is a dirty lie.
The result of the above is that the new president has not been elected. The second vote will have to take place in which some parties might nominate new candidate(s).
Thousands of people have joined internet discussions (especially on news servers) and criticized politicians for staging this absurd comedy…
The second vote is to take place on February 15.
The open vote took place. The first round of the first vote had no winner because in order to win the candidate needs to receive more than 50 percent. The second round of the first vote took place immediately afterwards. BUT– as it was almost nine p.m. and since it had been agreed to end the session at nine, the session did indeed end. There were some attempts to prolong the session but most legislators behaved like idiots. They argued about procedural changes, they insisted on voting whether they should vote on the prolongation of the session, the parties accused one another of causing the deadlock (see post below).
The ceremony of Czech presidential elections has not started yet, despite the fact that both chambers of the Parliament met at 10 a.m. CET (right now it is 6 p.m.) and the president might not be elected in the next (many) hours. The legislators have not reached the decision as to whether the vote should be secret or open. There are even some disputes within the government coalition.
So, one huge far-from-being-over deadlock, and foreign observers might think the Czech political scene is pretty fucked up, and they would be almost right. The selection of the next president is a political battle in which people, voters and taxpayers can only stand in distance, on the horizon even, and watch and wait.
To make it short: the parties that support the open vote principle want everyone to know how each legislators voted so that traitors can be identified, whereas the party that supports the secret vote would like to keep the names secret because the party lobbyists are said to have convinced those potential traitors from other parties to vote for their candidate, who is president Vaclav Klaus…
I swear, if we don’t have the direct vote by 2013, I will go and live naked in the bushes on U.S. Virgin Islands.
TO BE UPDATED AS THE SITUATION DEVELOPS…
This is what happens when people do not elect their president directly, this is what happens when 281 MP’s elect him. Or her…
Former Health Minister and current opposition MP for Social Democrats David Rath says that “rumor has it in the Parliament that somebody is trying to bribe Social Democrat MP’s to vote for Vaclav Klaus“, who is nominated by the senior coalition party – ODS. Social Democrats have their own candidate, University of Michigan professor Jan Svejnar…
Big surprise! Somebody actually admits that there is something rotten about the presidential elections…
Trying to bribe a politician to vote for the presidential candidate the person offering the bribe wishes to have in the Prague Castle is just as damn stupid as to have the indirect vote itself.
Somebody should remind David Rath that Social Democrats tried to choose their candidate three times. One said no, the other one backed out, the third one did his math and realized he would not have a chance… In other words, the Social Democrats were so pathetically desperate that they served their voters three different men and tested the reactions, just like new sitcoms are being test-screened… Social Democrat MP’s are obliged to vote for the party’s candidate. Which also means that the MP’s had to accept four different persons who were presented as the best candidate…
And it is no surprise that David Rath, MP suggested that president be elected by general vote.
Czech president Vaclav Klaus is criticized by top Czech politiciansfor his United Nations speech about global warming, the Hospodarske noviny daily notes. Klaus, to put it simply, does not believe global warming is a problem, and he even believes that global warming is practically nonexistent…
According to the daily, the speech was unfortunate(opposition leader Jiri Paroubek) and a mistake (activists). The Green Party politicians hope the speech won’t do any damage.
I was afraid this would be worse. Feels like the president’s speech was not as radical, he was a lone soldier in the battlefield in this issue, said the Green Party chairman Martin Bursik.
Opposition leader Jiri Paroubek focused on Klaus’ statement that “steps that are taken in order to fight global warming suppress economic freedom”. Yes, Mr. President. Freedom is indeed suppressed. But definitely not by trying to solve the problems of global warming, but by ignoring thereof, Paroubek said.