Czech PM quits and government will step down

City A.M. Reporter
CZECH Prime Minister Petr Necas quit last night after a graft and spying scandal involving his closest aide, pitching the country into a period of uncertainty over who would form the next government.

Under the Czech constitution, the whole government will now have to step down, and there is likely to be horse-trading between the governing coalition, the opposition and the president before a replacement is in place.

Necas quit days after the head of his office, Jana Nagyova, was charged with bribing members of parliament and ordering intelligence agents to spy on people. One of the surveillance targets, according to lawyers, was the prime minister’s own wife, whom he is divorcing.

Necas said he knew nothing about the surveillance, but the charges were so toxic that his coalition partners signalled they could no longer support him.

“I will resign as prime minister tomorrow,” Necas told a news conference.

A lawyer for Nagyova, now in custody, says she denies some of the allegations, while on others she says she acted in good faith.